AHL Commodities Exchange (AHCX) is consolidating contracts with buyers of agricultural produce worth $260 million (about K179 million) for the export market, general manager Davis Manyenje has said.
“Our aim at the end of the day is to ensure that farmers sell their produce at a good price and benefit from our structures which include financing.
“We are adding markets and have set up seasonal markets in all the districts so that we are accessible and farmers have a wider choice of where to sell their products,” he said in an interview in Lilongwe on Tuesday.
He said this in response to queries on the progress and expectations of AHCX—a marketplace where buyers and sellers trade in agricultural commodities with an assurance on quality, delivery and payment—during this year’s harvesting season.
Manyenje said by opening more seasonal markets, AHCX is creating jobs and increasing business opportunities for Malawians.
“If farmers are given better prices, it means it they will have disposable income and can buy inputs with ease,” he said.
Civil Society Agriculture Network (CisaNet) executive director Tamani Nkhono Mvula said AHCX is a good platform as it helps farmers to get good prices for their crops.
“This development is unprecedented and it shows that farmers will benefit from the commodities market. What needs to be done is to sensitise farmers in good time that the market is there for them,” he said.
Meanwhile, the AHCX has completed supplying 22 500 metric tonnes of maize worth K6 billion to government.
Some of the maize was sourced locally while another consignment was imported from Zambia.
AHCX is a fully electronic market, which brings in transparency and empowers farmers by disseminating market information in real time to all market players as well as providing options for risk management by offering futures trading. n