Farmers in Mzimba North have expressed concern over the influx of counterfeit scales on the market which traders are using when buying produce.
The farmers raised the alarm at the district’s agriculture fair which Mzimba-North district office organised at the Taifa Ground in Mzuzu City yesterday.
Speaking on behalf of the farmers, Mzimba North District Agriculture Extension Coordination Committee chairperson Isaac Chavula asked Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) to confiscate the scales as they were “robbing farmers”.
“We are surprised that we have MBS in place but we continue to be robbed of our farm produce through “unauthorised scales.” Let MBS flush out these scales,” he said.
MBS legal metrology officer Edna Kalinde admitted that there is an influx of “unauthorised” scales in most markets but was quick to say that the institution is doing all it can to deal with the problem.
“We are working hard to deal with the problem. Apart from confiscating the scales, we also give harsh punishment to those involved,” she said.
On his part, Mzimba North acting director of agriculture, natural resources and environment Beatrice Mbakaya said the malpractice was discouraging farmers from working hard. The fair’s aim was to strengthen partnership among various agro-value chain players such as agricultural cooperatives, small and medium enterprises, inputs suppliers, agro-processors and agricultural extension service delivery organisations.