Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) acting chief executive officer Felix Jumbe says the State produce trader has delayed paying farmers due to a change in payment mode and government transition.
In an interview yesterday in reaction to concerns from farmers, he said the parastatal owes farmers in excess of K2.5 billion.
He said Treasury did not release the money prior to the court-sanctioned fresh presidential election held on June 23.
But Jumbe said Admarc management met the new Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu who has committed to release money to support produce purchase by the grain marketer.
“The good news is that we will start paying the farmers today [Thursday],” he said.
Jumbe said based on Treasury’s commitment, Admarc intends to buy 220 000 metric tonnes (MT) of maize for the strategic grain reserves and another 180 000MT for its price stabilisation purposes during the lean period.
In an interview, one of the affected farmers, Rachel Fatchi from Dowa, expressed disappointment with Admarc, saying the situation has affected her family.
Two weeks ago, Farmers Union of Malawi also accused Admarc of letting down farmers after the parastatal failed to buy maize, especially in rural markets.
In the 2020/21 provisional budget presented in Parliament on Tuesday, Mlusu indicated that Treasury will release money to the institution for buying agriculture produce and added that Admarc will also be allowed to borrow extra money from commercial banks.