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Monday, 09 October 2017 14:05

Cooperatives touted as game changer for local farmers

Written by  Alex Chitwere
Can fetch alot of money if sold through organised cooperatives: Macademia Can fetch alot of money if sold through organised cooperatives: Macademia

Neno, October 09, 2017:  A Cooperative guru, John Mlangeni has called on government to promote establishment of cooperatives for smallholder farmers for the benefit of the country.

Mlangeni of Community Enterprise Pathways for Sustainable Economic and Environmental Management Project told Malawi News Agency on Thursday at the end of a training his organization conducted for macadamia farmers in Neno district.

He said smallholder farmers’ cooperatives were one way that could lead to the development of the country as Malawi’s economy was agro-based.

“What we are saying is that smallholder farmers should be selling their produce as groups so that they can bargain for better prices because of quantities.

“The current scenario is where vendors are buying from the farmers at lower price and reselling the produce at higher prices making huge profits just because they were able to supply in large quantities,” he said.

Mlangeni added that the style of using cooperatives had proved a success in other countries that were doing well such as USA, Kenya, and Tanzania.

He said through the Malawi Federation of Cooperatives they are trying to lobby government on the prospects of having cooperatives accessing finances from financial institutions to boost their businesses.

George Tambuli a member of Neno Smallholder Macadamia Cooperative said that being in a cooperative had seen them pocketing a significant amount of money from sales as they are able to sell their nuts at higher prices as a group which could not have been possible individually.

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