AHL Commodities Exchange (AHCX)—a trading platform for agricultural commodities—has said it is counting on the growing regional market demand for agricultural commodities and produce.
AHCX is in talks with potential buyers for local produce, including soybeans, groundnuts and sugar beans for possible export markets in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Kenya where there is a high demand.
Ironically, this comes as Malawi anticipates significant reductions in yields of most major food crops this season due to dry spells and infestation of fall armyworm in some parts of the country, which resulted in 10 percent reduction in crop harvest.
The second round of Agricultural Production Estimates Survey results has shown that production of maize, Malawi’s staple food crop, for instance, has dropped by an estimated 19.4 percent from 3.5 million metric tonnes last growing season to 2.8 million metric tonnes in the 2017/18 season.
In an interview, AHCX Communications Manager, Thom Khanje, said, despite the situation, the regional market demand remains wide.
“There is huge demand for Malawi’s soybeans, groundnuts and sugar beans on the regional market (South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya etc) as well as in India and China” Khanje said.
He said—since a good amount of exports for these crops were undertaken last season through AHCX and other companies—there is an expectation for continuation of the trend this year.
He said the regional market is not limited to quantity of the three crops, saying the firm also has many other inquiries from other prospective buyers
According to Khanje, AHCX is receiving the crop produce and others from farmers at its warehouses, having several standing off-takers who are buying on the spot.
He said prices being offered are very competitive and in line with the best on the market.
“Farmers just have to make sure their crops are adequately dry and well graded. Any farmer or trader or groups with a minimum of 10 bags of these crops are welcome to bring their crops for trading at AHCX,” Khanje said.
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