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Farmers, buyers link at AHL Commodity Exchange

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Total Land Care last week took a group of 32 lead farmers from Ngala in Nkhotakota to AHL Commodity Exchange (AHCX) in Lilongwe as one way of linking them to local and international buyers who acquire various agriculture commodities through the exchange.

The farmers, who operate under Ngala Cooperative, grow various crops such as cow peas, beans, maize, groundnuts, rice, bird eye chilies and sugar canes, and are currently being supported by Total Land Care under its project called “Managing Adaptation to Climate Change”.

The project, which started in 2012 to run up to 2019, is in addition to Ngala Cooperative supporting 10 other farming groups in Ntchisi, Dowa, Salima and Nkhotakota districts.

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Ngala Cooperative chairperson, Fredrick Zimba, said the grouping wants its members to improve their earnings through increased productivity and good prices.

“We have come here to learn how the commodity exchange can help us on the issue of prices. We are also looking for a stable and reliable market for our crops,” he said.

Total Land Care Agribusiness Specialist, Sungeni Ng’onamo, said the organisation has already signed a partnership agreement with AHCX for the marketing of produce from the cooperatives it is supporting because the commodity exchange was the best way of improving the marketing of crops for farmers.

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“We have brought the farmers here to appreciate the commodity exchange before they start bringing commodities,” he said.

AHCX Marketing Manager, William Kawenda, said apart from providing a steady market, AHCX provides farmers with the means of safely keeping their commodities while waiting for prices to improve on the market.

“The nature of the commodities market means prices are low at the beginning and higher towards the end of the season. By Selling through AHCX, farmers can be able to keep their produce in our warehouse for months while waiting for prices to improve. Meanwhile, they can use the warehouse receipt to access loans from the bank if they need cash quickly,” Kawenda said.

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