Cartel scramble for Admarc’s meagre resources

The Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) has singled out an organised cartel as one of the constraints that is affecting the it’s marketing progress.

Speaking in Lilongwe during an interface with the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Admarc’s General Manager Rhino Chiphiko said the cartel involves the commercial banks, ministries and other individuals.
Chiphiko has also disclosed that the state produce marketer has only utilized K4 billion to purchase crops form the K12 billion which was approved by the August House.

“There should be some problem somewhere where we as Admarc are directed to go and acquire very expensive loans and all the loans that we acquire are on the collateral arrangement whereby the maize Admarc that buys belongs to the banks, so Admarc works for the Bank,” he said.

Chiphiko added that the country does not have the much touted 1 million surplus metric tonnes of maize as earlier reported by the Ministry of Agriculture.

“Our observations so far like in the southern region, some of the markets are not buying maize at all because there is no maize and I doubt very much after exhausting maize in the central and northern regions we should be able to acquire up to one million metric tonnes surplus that is being mentioned,” said Chiphiko.

Reacting to the development, chairperson for the Committee Sameer Suleman said he is dismayed at how ministries, banks and individuals are using Admarc to syphon tax payer’s money.

“This is all a big cartel to syphon Admarc, no one wants to give Admarc money so that Admarc can stand on its own because they are looking their personal interests first.

“What is the problem to recapitalize, but we want force Admarc to go to commercial banks where we are have, we go and force them to borrow money from so that we get commissions, this is happening from the Ministry,” said Suleman.

In her response, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Erica Maganga said the scientific method which the Ministry use to determine crop estimates does not depends on what famers have in their stock.

“As a ministry we have a scientifically proven methodology which we use to conduct to do agriculture estimates, and we use this methodology to determine the production for the country for various crops including livestock.

“But when production is done at the end of year, what we report are figures and the surplus will not be in government custody, it will be with growers out there,” said Maganga.

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