05 August 2020
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Monday, 18 May 2020 06:59

Chitipa farmers decry low prices for produce

Written by  Joseph Mbughi
Alice Naswila-farmer Alice Naswila-farmer

Chitipa, May 18, 2020:Farmers in Chitipa have said that they fear that they will not realise profits from the sale of their farm produce as buyers are offering low prices on agricultural commodities compared to the government set farm gate prices.

Meanwhile apart from private traders their alternative produce market in the district, as state owned commodity buyer ADMARC is yet to open its markets.

A farmer from Mwamkumbwa Extension Planning Area (EPA)  Alice Nanswila, told MANA on Saturday that prices offered by vendors do no match with the cost of production of most farm produce.

 “Vendors are going door to door buying produce at low prices and since we don’t have better markets we have no option but to sell,” She said.

She appealed to Admarc to open its markets saying their prices are better than those offered by vendors.

One of the vendors in Chitipa, Asakile Mwakambaya told this reporter that they are buying maize at K110.00, beans at K325.00, soya at K225.00 and sunflower at K130.00 per kilogram since the supply is currently higher than demand.

In April this year government announced minimum gate prices for selected crops for the 2019/2020 agricultural season such as maize pegged at K200.00, rice K600.00, pure beans at K450.00 per kilogram to mention a few.

Admarc Public Relations Officer Agnes Ndovi told MANA in an interview that rainfall patterns have delayed the buying of agricultural produce in the northern region.

“We  opened and started buying various crops on April 14 this year in the Southern Region in accordance with the crop calendar since people have already harvested in the south while we are waiting for people to complete harvesting in the north,” said Ndovi.

According to Ndovi, Admarc has managed to buy 9000 metric tons of maize, 3000 metric tons of soya 400 metric tons of beans and 500 metric tons of cotton and their markets are still open and will continue to buy more, as crops are being harvested.


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