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Rice producers lament poor market structures

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Imam Wali:

Some rice farmers under Bwanje Valley Cooperatives in Dedza District have decried lack of access to stable markets and low prices the commodity is fetching.

The observation was made during an agriculture market fair for Mtakataka Extension Planning Area (EPA) in the district.

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Chairperson for the coorperative, Mathews Tarsizio, said the group had capacity to the growing market demand of rice.

“We cultivate rice throughout the year but our main challenge is access to better markets. We are ready to supply to every corner of the country if opportunity comes our way; hence, calling all hotel, lodge and restaurant owners to do business with us,” Tarsizio said.

He said kirombero mtupatipa or kayanja malo, nazoro mpheta and Fire were among the varieties they were producing grouping at on 800 hectares where they are able to harvest over 4,000 metrics tonnes of rice.

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Dedza District Agriculture Development Officer, Osmund Chapotoka, agrees with the farmers and called on stakeholders to intervene.

Mountain View Lodge owner, Clement Mlombwa, challenged rice farmers to prioritise quality since markets were available.

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