Exchange (AHCX), a structured commodities market, has said there is huge demand for agricultural commodities and their products from international buyers, signifying potential for local commodities on the global market.
AHCX public relations manager Thom Khanje said in a statement yesterday farmers can deposit their commodities at the nearest AHCX warehouses spread across the country.
“AHCX would like to get expressions of interest, including volume available and the offer price, from those with these commodities and products for prospecting and specific trade arrangements,” he said.
The commodities include pigeon peas, soya beans, groundnuts (chalimbana and CG7), sunflower, red kidney beans, sugar beans, white haricot beans, cow peas, sorghum, popcorn maize and rice.
According to AHCX, international buyers are looking of 100 000 metric tonnes (MT) of pigeon peas, 130 000MT soya beans, 80 000MT of groundnuts, 30 000MT of sunflower, 10 000MT of kidney beans and 5 000MT of sugar beans
Khanje said AHCX is also negotiating for export orders for value-added products such as urad dhal, pink dhal, oil dhal, chana dhal, steak and chops spice, among others.
AHCX empowers the farmers with trading information for them to make significant bargains when trading, and in an event a farmer is not satisfied with the prevailing prices, the farmer can still access cash from the commercial bank using the exchange’s warehouse receipt facility arrangement with various commercial banks.
At the bank, farmers can obtain cash equivalent to 70 percent of the value of their commodity based on the current prices to repay when they sell at a higher price later.
AHCX keeps the commodity for the farmers in a warehouse for three months.
A subsidiary of AHL Group, formerly Auction Holdings Limited, AHCX is one of the two commodity exchanges in Malawi. The other is Agriculture Commodities Exchange (ACE) for Africa.
A number of countries in Africa are setting up commodity exchanges to develop agricultural markets and improve food security. For instance, in east African economies such as Kenya and Ethiopia, they have similar markets.
According to Forbes, when Ethiopia set up its now-famous commodity exchange in 2008, few foresaw the ripple effect it would generate-least of all its founders.
But in five years, the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) has convinced stakeholders that bourses can improve food security in Africa, and has catalysed global dialogue about the development of agricultural market places across the continent.
In an earlier interview, Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) president Alfred Kapichira Banda said AHCX is an ideal market that has offered an alternative for farmers in the face of decreasing demand for tobacco market on the global market.
He said commodities exchange is the best avenue that farmers should utilise to gain maximum returns. n