Agricultural Development and Marke t i n g Corporation (Admarc) says it has secured $548 million (about K430 billion) to revamp operations of the State grain trader.
Admarc board chairperson Alexander Kusamba Dzonzi said this yesterday during a press briefing in Blantyre to update the country on the board’s vision.
He said: “We have indeed secured the funding. But because I have not yet been cleared by my line minister, [Minister of Agriculture, Lobin Lowe ] and the main shareholder of Admarc, the Ministry of Finance, allow me for the time being not to disclose the details of our financiers.”
Kusamba Dzonzi said the funds will be used to revamp the parastatal by, among others, implementing some of the set reforms aimed
at restoring Admarc’s lost glory.
Among others, Admarc plans to establish divisions to help boost value addition to the agricultural sector.
Said Kusamba Dzonzi: “We are going to create a textile division which, among others, will have a textile plant to produce clothes locally. This includes running a parallel surgical wool plant. We will also be bringing a cooking oil processing plant for legumes, sunflower and cotton seeds extracted from the cotton in the textile plant.”
He further revealed plans to purchase 1.1 million metric tonnes of farm produce from smallholder farmers this year, saying Admarc has already secured $234 million (about K183 billion) for the exercise.
Kusamba Dzodzi also commented on the parastatal’s poor performance in recent years, blaming it on political interference.
“This time around, we want to take Admarc back to its rightful owners; who are small-scale farmers,” he said.
On his part, the board’s director of operations Allan Chiyembekeza said Admarc will also revamp all its markets across the country.
He said: “This will enable farmers to access various farm inputs in their communities because we will also be selling inputs like fertiliser and other agriculture equipment.”