Speed Admarc restructuring, government told
There is a fresh call on the government to speed the restructuring of the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc).
Various traditional leaders including Senior Chief Mwaulambia of Chitipa, Sub Traditional Authority Mkumbira of Nkhata Bay and Traditional Authority (TA) Chikumbu of Mulanje and TA Makanjira of Mangochi say most Admarc depots are closed, giving vendors a leeway to sell the grain at exorbitant prices.
Two weeks ago, the board of directors for the troubled Admarc wrote all members of staff, notifying them that the firm was implementing a 100 percent retrenchment exercise which was effected on February 1 2023.
Mwaulambia said despite that the retrenchments were done in the interest of correcting anomalies at the state grain trader, the timing is wrong.
TA Chikumbu from Mulanje said the development is worrying so much so that a kilogramme of maize is now fetching about K700 from an average of K450.
At Nkhata Bay Boma, STA Mkumbila said the availability of the staple grain has become intermittent, asking the government to move in quickly to avert hunger in the district.
His counterpart in Mangochi, TA Makanjira, said areas such as Lulanga, Chipole and Makanjira last received a consignment about two months ago.
Minister of Agriculture Sam Kawale last week said Admarc depots were still open, only that they are waiting for the Treasury to release about K400 million to help in transferring of maize from areas of low need to areas of high concentration.
“Admarc is still in operation and there are some people that are still selling maize in different areas,” he said.