The National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi (Nasfam) has said that though the government implemented the K4,495 price for fertilizer, there is work to be done concerning structured markets that will be able to buy various agro produce.
Nasfam Chief Executive Officer, Betty Chinyamunyamu, outlined that if access for markets remains lacking, the fertilizer price has no beneficial result altogether.
While farmers bemoan the lack of markets, markets also blame farmers for poor produce, insufficient supply or lack of diversity. For instance, in 2019, the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) said Malawi fell short of supply, making it lose out on a market worth K885 billion. MITC director of investment, promotion and facilitation Joshua Nthakomwa said that producers are failing to meet the demand despite the one-stop trade and investment centre’s initiative to secure markets through various forums.
While Malawi has had a good reputation though Malawi Mangoes exporting to India, Singapore and Hongkong, smallholder farmers bemoan lack of platforms on which they can be recognized. In January 2019, the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) announced the introduction of a Farmers Market, a monthly initiative aimed at increasing the visibility of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) to more customers and improve their access to markets.
According to a statement on the MCCCI website, the initiative that would happen on the last Saturday of every month, courtesy of MCCCI’s Star Category membership which costs K90,000 per year. The membership will have the farmers market as a benefit along with access to trade information through MCCCI’s documentation centres, just to mention a few.