PPM’s Katsonga wants new role for Malawi grain marketer ADMARC

People’s Progressive Movement (PPM) president Mark Katsonga has said he will ensure that Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) will be reformed to allow it to properly market Malawian farm produce on the international market.

Katsonga said many problems Malawi is facing are the pillars of poverty which political leaders have created over the past years and that time has come to break them. He said government need to build a foundation for wealth creation for all Malawians including small holder farmers.

He was speaking on Sunday at Limbani Lodge in Mulanje district during a meeting with smallholder tea farmers.

PPM President Mark Katsonga outlining their plans to farmers

Katsonga stressed that Malawi can never progress in any sphere if these pillars of poverty continue to stand and co-exist with the human generations.

He blamed the United Democratic Front (UDF) under the leadership of Bakili by incorporating ADMARC to be a limited liability company.

“One may ask why the incorporation of ADMARC is one of the pillars of poverty when ADMARC is serving Malawi farmers. The answer is simple profits made by a limited liability company are shared among its few shareholders. In the case of ADMARC, it is totally unfair for its profits to be shared to anybody other than the farmers themselves,” said Katsonga.

He pointed out that Malawians have seen the serious decline of ADMARC since it was made a limited liability company.

Katsonga said ADMARC’s main shareholder, (Government) has continued to allow the company’s assets to be abused and stripped.

For instance, he said that ADMARC vehicles have been deploying to ferry people to political rallies, its profits have been misused by government resulting in the serious decline of the company for the past decade.

Katsonga said that this is happening while the smallholder farmers who are supposed to be the ultimate beneficiaries of ADMARC continue to wallowing in endless poverty.

He however outlined PPM’s plans to break this pillar of poverty like to initiate the process of breaking all the pillars of poverty and build a foundation for wealth creation and prosperity for all Malawians.

“PPM will therefore transform ADMARC into a cooperative (Agriculture Development and Marketing Cooperative) not corporation,” he said.

Katsonga explained that ADMARC will be supported by government but it will be owned by the small holder farmers themselves.

He said that all the profits made by ADMARC up to the last sale in the product distribution chain (for example, profit made at the London Tea Auction Floors or New York Grain Market) will be for the farmers.

“The organization will be fully decentralized and devolved. All small farmers including tea and coffee growers will have the option of becoming members of Admarc as a cooperative and benefit from government support in the processing and marketing of their produce. Effectively, all small holder farmers who sell to ADMARC will be members of the cooperative with full rights to share in its profits,” said Katsonga.

Katsonga, who praised the first head of state, Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda for the way he handled ADMARC in his era, said that PPM finds it unfortunate and inhuman that profits made out of sales of our farm produce including tea, tobacco, coffee, maize, legumes and other cereals are enjoyed by other people and not the farmers themselves.

“Indeed, traders seating in ivory tower offices in the cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu and their buyers in Republic of South Africa, United Kingdom and United States of America continue to enjoy huge profits out of our agriculture produce while our farmers continue to sweat digging their farms to endless poverty.

“Other parties and politicians have talked and will continue to talk about eliminating poverty they have not done it in over 50 years now. Indeed, they cannot eliminate poverty while the pillars of poverty they have created themselves over the past 50 years still stands. PPM will break all and build a solid foundation for wealth creation for all Malawians,” said Katsonga.

Speaking at the function, Michael Kalulu, who is the chairman of smallholder farmers in Mulanje district stressed that famers were not benefiting from the farming as companies continue duping them.

“We cannot even afford to buy a bicycle despite being in the farming field for many years. The moment Kamuzu Banda step out of government things went sour for farmers, and we are looking forward to PPM’s plans on us,” said Kalulu.

After meeting smallholder farmers at Mulanje district, the PPM president proceeded to Limbuli, where he also had an audience with another group of smallholder farmers.

Chairman of smallholder farmers in Mulanje Michael Kalulu outlining farmers problems

Katsonga on his arrival at Limbuli

PPM Publicity secretary Redson Munlo also spoke at the function

A group of farmers listening to PPM's president attentively

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