Nandolo farmers getting a raw deal — Columnist

A newspaper columnist and analyst on business matters has argued that smallholder farmers in  Nandolo (pigeon peas) crop  are short-changed and getting “a raw deal”.

Nandolo farmers a suspension of the crop’s buying by Admarc

Veteran journalist Aubrey Mchulu writing in The Nation  was commenting on a presidential directive for State produce trader Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) to buy pigeon peas at K230 per kilogramme (kg) .

He also balanced his views with the reaction by Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture   to  the presidential directive  which it described as ill-timed as well as Nandolo Farmers Association of Malawi-a grouping of pigeon peas farmers-call for the suspension of the purchases by Admarc.

The columnist pointed out that Admarc, is financially struggling as it  recently got a K45 billion bailout from Treasury, failing to buy maize, its mainstay, due to lack of funds.

“ Where has Admarc found the market for the pigeon peas?  Where has it sourced the funds to ‘buy’ the nandolo?” wondererd  Mchulu.

“In my view, the biggest loser in the whole deal is the smallholder farmer who is helplessly watching the vendors or ‘middlemen’ who bought the crop from them for a song pushing truckloads to Admarc markets.

“I smell a conspiracy where ‘big boys’, in the name of the poor farmer in Nyezelera, Phalombe, are engaging in some sort of organised crime to siphon public funds by way of laundering through Admarc. How else can one explain this?” wrote the columnist.

Picture this true story, he continued to write: “A peasant farmer sold her nandolo to a vendor at K40/kg only three weeks ago. She sold 26.5 bags each weighing 50 kg at K2 000/bag and earned a paltry K53 000. The vendor, obviously a ‘big boy’, is selling the same to Admarc at K230/kg or K11 500/50kg bag, making a cool K9 500 profit from each bag. If this is not a raw deal (‘theft by tricks’) then what is?

“People entrusted with public office should be making decisions that are for the general good of all and sundry, not a few chosen few. Farmers should be motivated and rewarded through competitive prices, based on market forces.”

In a letter dated September 17 2018 addressed to principal secretaries (PSs) for ministries of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development and Industry, Trade and Tourism and Admarc chief executive officer, Nandolo farmers  chairperson Susan Chimbayo said the immediate buying of crop by Admarc with no proper strategies to protect the farmers is disastrous.

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Bingu wa Mutharika
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Bingu wa Mutharika

Where was Mchulu when farmers were struggling to find the market

Lilian Kaunda
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Lilian Kaunda

Open your eyes. One greedy mlomwe businessman has over 100,000 metric tonnes of peas and there is an arrangement to buy off his stocks and Admarc will arrange that they rent his warehouses and the stocks will not move so that Malawians are duped.

Gerry
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Gerry

stupid tumbuka

Pepani
Guest
Pepani

Nkhani yabwino koma yabwera mochedwa pamene alimi agulitsa kale Nandolo wawo ndiponso ma admarc amabeledwa kuzera masikelo ndi kuhonga. Yenderani misikayo muziona

santana
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santana

We hope this Mchulu will help these farmers to have a ripe deal.

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