State produce trader Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) says it has no money to buy pigeon peas (Nandolo) barely two weeks after government announced that the crop prices have been raised to K230 per kilogram from just K100 per kilogram.
A survey by Nyasa Times in some Admarc depots in Nandolo growing areas of Mulanje, Thyolo, Phalombe and Chiradzulu, aming others show that Admarc officials are turning away farmers with their produce.
The survey indicate that Admarc has no money and capacity to buy all nandolo produce contrary to the announcement made by the government whilst in Blantyre, Admarc depots are buying the produce from rich, influential and highly connected businessmen who bring their produce in trucks.
Allen Sichali, a marketing officer at Phalombe main Admarc depot confirmed state run produce company just bought 50 bags of nandolo due to lack of money.
“We have run out of money so we are turning away those with the produce,” he said.
A lady farmer said she has sold her nandolo to a vendor at K50 per kilogram after Admarc turned her away.
Minister of Agriculture Joseph Mwanamvekha said the problem is with Admarc not the government.
“The government gave Admarc all the money so if they have problems, it is nothing to do with the government,” he said.
Admarc is struggling financially and had to seek financial bail out from Treasury to buy maize from farmers.