Ordinary Malawians are spending nights outside the State produce marketer Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) depots to sell maize just days after Admarc started buying the commodity.
This has worried the Parliamentary committee on Agriculture members who have since told Admarc officials to address the overcrowding of sellers in its depots.
This followed a visit to Malangalanga Admarc depot where committee members witnessed long queues as people waited to sell the maize.
State produce marketer started buying the maize on Thursday last week.
Speaking after touring the depot, Sameer Suleman, parliamentary commitee on Agriculture chairperson said the commitee received complaints from suppliers that Admarc is taking long to buy the grain.
He said, Admarc should address the challenges and reduce the sellers queue as soon as possible.
The commitee further expressed worry that Admarc has not given smallholder farmers the much needed opportunity for them to sell their grain to Admarc.
“We understand that Admarc is looking for both quality and quantity but they should also understand that we approved their 22 billion kwacha loan for smallholder farmers to benefit, so Admarc should find means to buy maize from local smallholder farmers,” said Suleman.
He has since asked government to review the time Admarc purchases the grain saying now most farmers have lost their maize to vendors while at the same time some of the maize has lost quality.
On his part, central region manager for Admarc, Davis Masache said smallholder farmers have been given opportunity to sell their grain to their local Admarc.