In the face of climate change, farmers are being advised to embrace crop diversification as a way of ensuring economic security. Agri-business firm Synthesis Agriculture is imploring local farmers to venture into banana and paprika production to complement deals they have secured in foreign markets. Our reporter CHIMWEMWE MANGAZI caught up with the organisation’s managing director DICKSON KILOWE.
Tell us about the markets that you have identified for bananas and paprika?
As Synthesis Agriculture, we have a wide market and we have a demand of 12,000 tonnes of paprika per month and 6,000 tonnes of bananas per month in Johannesburg. Additionally, there is demand for these crops in Cameroon, Botswana and, overseas, we have buyers in the UK with a demand of 7,000 for paprika and 4000 tonnes for bananas.
How many farmers are you targeting?
We are looking at working with 1000 farmers for each crop across the country. On our end, we will be providing the technical expertise and scientific methods of producing high quality produce that will meet the requirements set by the buyers. Synthesis agriculture will train the farmers and provide free farm management facility, farm visit and scouting throughout the production period. For small scale farmers that have one acre for production, we will get about 16 percent of the returns while for large scale farmers we will get between 17 percent and 25 percent depending on the size of the farm.
Why has Malawi failed toutilise international markets available for various agriculture produces?
The major problem has been poor quality of agriculture produce. As earlier indicated the markets that are out there have specific requirements in terms of the quality of the produce.
The other problem has been pricing. We also lack the capacity to supply consistently to these international markets, most of the buyers want to be supplied all the time once they give you the deals and this is why we are engaging farmers so that in the near future they should complement our production capacity and together we will be able to satisfy these markets.
Give us the background of Synthesis Agriculture?
We are a non-governmental and profit making organisation operating high value horticulture farming. The aim is to promote the agriculture sector through job creation for the youth, inspiring farmers and the retired through production, marketing and value addition.
We have a vision to eradicate food insecurity by supporting farmers through world-class training platform of multi-level membership by Providing horticulture food and financial security through practical trainings on our multilevel farming platform as our mission.
Our mandate is providing horticulture food and financial security through practical trainings on our multilevel farming platform. With food and financial insecurity threatening the survival of humanity on the earth, especially in the third world countries, Synthesis has a vision to resolve these challenges by implementing a world-class horticulture membership platform that brings finances and food to every individual and family irrespective of social status on the continent.
Our origin is Africa and our scope is the whole world with focus on third world countries and disaster regions with prevailing financial insecurity. We believe that the right to food is a basic human right and the opportunity to secure food and finances should be available to everyone. Therefore, everyone can definitely secure these rights by being an active member on our platform.