Government has announced that Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation ADMARC is expected to commence purchasing of farm produce from farmers this week.
Minister of Agriculture Francis Kasaila made the declaration on Tuesday during media briefing in Lilongwe when he was releasing the 2019/2020 minimum farm – gate prices.
Kasaila said that ADMARC will open its markets in the Southern Region and Ntcheu districts this week while in the Central and Northern regions markets shall commence on 20th and 27th April, 2020 respectively.
“We have opened the markets earlier like this to protect farmers from unscrupulous vendors who usually rob from our small holder farmers with cheap prices,” said Kasaila.
He further told the nation that government has put maize at a minimum price of 200 Kwacha per Kilogram meaning that a 50 Kilogram bag of maize will be selling at a minimum price of K10, 000.00.
The ministry has also said that has put groundnuts at K480 shelled and K300 unshelled while Soya beans at 300 and cotton A and B at minimum price of 389 and 310 respectively.
Kasaila revealed that the prices have been determined by the special task force team comprising some key stakeholders.
“A markup profit usually set between 10 to 30 percent on the breakeven price is considered to arrive at the minimum farm-gate price.
Anyone who wants to buy these crops from farmers must have a licence. These licenses can be obtained from Ministrys offices across the country at 10,000 per commodity,” the minister added.
He also said to prevent the spread of coronavirus , a maximum of 20 farmers will be allowed to enter the gates of ADMARC markets at a time, hand washing will be a must and workers will be provided with protective gear.
Kasaila said government has released three Billion Kwacha to commence the buying of agricultural commodities through ADMARC.