Civil Society Network for Agriculture (Cisanet) executive director Pamela Kuwali yesterday welcomed Admarc’s decision to start buying maize from farmers, but said vendors who bought the commodity at low prices may benefit more.
State produce-trader the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) yesterday announced it has opened markets for maize, giving relief to farmers who were selling the produce at prices lower than the government set price of K170 per kilogramme (kg).
Kuwali, while welcoming the view, observed that farmers may not benefit much.
“The concern is that this is coming at a time when farmers have sold volumes to vendors at much lower prices. This implies farmers who already sold their produce may not benefit from Admarc. Additionally, the same vendors who bought from farmers are the ones who are likely to benefit from this market intervention,” said Kuwali.
She said as a long-term solution, Admarc must intervene in the market as soon as farmers start selling their produce.
In a press release on Friday, Admarc announced it will be buying the main staple at K170 per kg, way above the less than K100 per kg bag it is fetching on the informal market.
“Admarc is buying maize at K170 per kg. Admarc shall only buy good quality maize which is free from weevils, any foreign matters and discolour,” the release said.
This comes at a time farmers and agriculture watchdogs have been pushing for the opening of the markets following a slump on maize prices, which disadvantaged local farmers. n