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Vendors ignoring farm gate prices’

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MHANGO—We will meet authorities

Grain Traders Association of Malawi (Gtam) has expressed concern over defiance by some vendors who it says, are buying agricultural commodities at lower than, the government-set minimum prices.

Gtam president, Grace Mijiga Mhango, said the association is currently conducting a survey and was saddened to note the malpractice.

She said for example, a kilogramme (kg) of Soya is being bought on the range between K245 to K255 while Maize is being bought between K170 to K180 per kg.

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This is despite the government announcing minimum farm gate prices on April 7, which pegged prices for Soya at K300 per kg and Maize at K200 per kg.

Mhango said lack of proper enforcement procedures by the government and lack of integrity among vendors and some companies is blamed for the situation.

“It is very bad and this has angered many of our members who are adhering to the set minimum price. All things being equal, we are meeting authorities this week on the same.

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“It is not fair for our members who have buying licenses to be buying at the set minimum prices and others are left scot free after buying at these low prices,” Mhango said.

In a separate interview, Ministry of Agriculture Spokesperson, Priscilla Mateyu, said the government is on top of the matter.

‘We have instituted several monitoring mechanisms like patrolling of markets where vendors are buying produce. We have so far warned several companies against this malpractice.

The government through the Ministry of Agriculture earlier announced that Admarc will this year start procurement of agriculture commodities early to save farmers from such exploitation from venders and unscrupulous buyers.

However, the purchases were delayed at Admarc hence, the continued farmer exploitation.

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