Farmers in Zomba have expressed concern over the failure by the Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation (ADMARC) to buy their produce for the 2016/2017 agriculture season.
One of the farmers, Clement Kadewere said although having other produce such as legumes, ADMARC was only buying maize.
Kadewere said they are just keeping pigeon peas, millet and maize in homes due to lack of a viable market.
“ADMARC used to buy different types of farm produce but this year they are just buying maize only,” Kadewere, a Mayaka 1 resident, Traditional Authority Chikowi told YFM online.
Kadewere said: “If they could have given us a chance to sell other farm produce we could have benefited a lot.”
Kadewere also alluded to what he believes are high incidences of corruption among ADMARC employees during the sale of maize in depots.
“Farmers are only allowed to sell one bag of maize. If you want to sell more than one bag, then you have to pay something,” he said.
“Vendors are benefiting more than ordinary farmers because they easily connive with ADMARC employees because they bring more produce. This has negatively affected us,” he explained.
When commenting on the issue, ADMARC Public Relations Officer, Agnes Chikoko said they buy commercial crops only if the market is available and this year they were buying cotton from farmers.
“ADMARC always has a priority every season. This year Government gave us about K11 billion to buy maize and that is what we have been doing,” she said.
“We opened our markets in the rural areas because our target was a local farmer not a middle man or a trader.”