15 April 2019

Malawi: Ministry Explains On 2018/2019 Farm Gate Price Delays

Lilongwe — An official in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has said issuance of 2019/2020 farm gate prices has delayed.

The delay has come about because the Ministry was conducting extensive consultations with various stakeholders to ensure that the prices are realistic and reasonable to both farmers and buyers.

Agri-business Officer in the Ministry, Japhet Zingani said this Friday in Lilongwe but however made an assurance that the prices would be released soon.

He was speaking during a meeting on agricultural commodity marketing which attracted various stakeholders including farmers, agro-dealers, government officials and civil society representatives.

"Normally, farm gate prices are released in February, before farmers start harvesting their farm produce. This year, there has been a delay because the Ministry has been engaging various stakeholders for their input," Zingani pointed out.

He was reacting to concerns by some farmers and agro-dealers who expressed displeasure with the delay saying farmers in some areas had already started selling their farm produce especially beans.

Zingani cautioned famers against rushing into selling their agricultural commodities, saying they should instead store them and sale later when prices on the market improve.

He observed that farmers are failing to realise optimum returns from their toil because they have a tendency to sell their agricultural produce soon after harvesting, when prices are very low.

The Officer advised the farmers to utilise warehouses which the Ministry of Agriculture built in strategic places in different districts across the country.

"We have warehouses in several districts but most of them are just lying idle because farmers are not using them. Some of these structures are instead being used by chiefs and other community leaders to conduct their meetings," he said.

Chief Executive Officer for Legumes Exports Challenge Account, Buthelezi Sichali advised farmers to thoroughly grade their produce to improve its quality.

He said some farmers do not grade their commodities which forces buyers to offer low prices to compensate for costs of grading the produce on their own.

A farmer from Dowa, Trafford Masaula asked relevant stakeholders including the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) to be vigilant during the selling season to protect farmers from unscrupulous vendors who buy farm produce in communities using manipulated weighing scales.

The meeting was organised by Africa Institute for Corporate Citizenship (AICC) and Centre for Environmental Policy (CEPA) with funding from the Norwegian Government through Development Fund (DF).

Malawi

Ruling Party Ready for Talks With Chakwera, Chilima

Malawi's political differences should be settled through peaceful means, such as mediation, rather than violent… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Malawi News Agency

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.