Farmers in Malawi are strategising on how to form cooperatives to empower them to take over some of the functions of Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc), Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) president Felix Jumbe has said.
Jumbe said last week that the corporation has been performing poorly to the extent that it is posting annual losses of not less than K2.3 billion per year.
He said farmers would use Admarc warehouses with consent from government to stock their produce and sell it to Malawians at an opportune time.
â€œThis is the time as farmers to form cooperatives because it is only through that arrangement that we can do our activities as one body. Through cooperatives, we can take over some of the roles of Admarc and help government save money,â€ said Jumbe last week at a day-long FUM policy conference in Lilongwe.
He observed that the United Nations (UN) has recognised the importance of cooperatives and has declared 2012 as the year of cooperatives because they are powerful.
â€œWe used to have cooperatives in the country, but some people in authority then thought that they are political bodies. Now that we are in multiparty democracy, we think it is high time we came out with full force to demand what we know can help us drive the economy better,â€ said Jumbe.
He cited the twin shortages of fuel and foreign exchange as some of the problems that could have been avoided if farmers in the country were passionate about farming.