President Peter Mutharika says government will continue to facilitate better markets for farmers to help them fetch better prices for their commodities.
Speaking on Tuesday in Lilongwe after touring AHL Commodities Exchange (AHCX), the President said farmers have for a long time been exploited by intermediate buyers who have access to better markets.
He said government will continue to implement measures that promote farming activities, including the recently passed Warehouse Receipt Law and the review of the Control of Goods Act which he said has been approved by Cabinet and awaits passing in Parliament.
The warehouse receipt facility allows farmers to use commodities deposited in the warehouses as collateral to obtain a loan of up to 80 percent of the total value of their commodity as they wait for markets to open.
Said Mutharika: “We are trying to open up markets and we are negotiating with [United Arab Emirates] Dubai and the United Kingdom so that our farmers get better prices.
“They [farmers] have been cheated for many years. Informal buyers come from outside, borrow money here, export and take the money outside”.
Earlier, the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) said the country has lost about $980 million (K719.32 billion) due to illegal foreign exchange externalisation and transfer pricing.
But Mutharika said government will ensure that illegal externalisation and transfer pricing stops within the next year by linking farmers to structured markets.
In his remarks, AHCX general manager Davis Manyenje said there is a lot of export under-declaration and informalities that are costing the country revenue.
“As structured markets, we come with efficiency, transparency and fairness in the pricing,” he said. n