As the harvest and buying season is in session, farmers have been warned of middle men that buy crops at lower prices than recommended. Kasungu Agricultural Development Division Program Manager, George Kapelemera warned farmers that in some instances, vendors had already started buying before government set gate prices.
Kapelemera also outlined that chiefs play a role in addressing middlemen. “I am therefore asking chiefs who are here and the rest of the country to be vigilant in protecting our vulnerable farmers from being exploited by these vendors,” said Kapelemera, as he was speaking in Nkhata Bay during Mzuzu Agricultural Development Division (MZADD) field day where he was guest of honour. In response Traditional Authority Timbiri of Nkhata Bay urged government to release funds for State produce trader Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (ADMARC) to start buying from farmers.
Its not news that during the market season, various crops face price drops, if not slight hikes, contributed by various factors. Sometimes, responsible authorities can negotiate the prices on behalf of farmers, while sometimes the buyers have a set price for a minimum demand. At the end of the day, farmers have been advised to diversify their crops to reap from more than the usual cash crops that are declining on the market, for instance, tobacco is facing low demand due to anti-smoking campaigns globally.