Member of Parliament (MP) for Lilongwe Msozi-South Vitus Dzoole Mwale (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) on Tuesday asked government to release Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) and let it operate as an independent entity.
Dzoole-Mwale said this in his contribution during the committee of supply, where members scrutinise the national budget vote by vote.
He observed that the corporation has not been allocated any funds under subvented organisations vote.
He said: “I vividly recall that in the past the corporation was allocated funds to operate and that was done through this particular vote.”
But in his response, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe said the situation arose because Admarc is not a subvented organisation.
Said Gondwe: “Admarc’s money has been allocated under the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Natural Resource’s vote. We could not include it here because the corporation is not a subvented organisation just like the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi [Escom] and Malawi Housing Corporation [MHC].”
Owing to Gondwe’s explanation, Dzoole -Mwale wondered why government is still running Admarc rather than letting it run independently like any other statutory corporation.
Said Dzoole-Mwale: “Government should let Admarc run as a business entity because this is what we called for a long time ago when we passed an Act to allow the corporation to be privatised.”
In a separate interview, chairperson of the agriculture committee Felix Jumbe observed that the biggest challenge facing Admarc now is to make maize available where it is needed.
“ K4 billion has been allocated to facilitate the purchase of maize, but the challenge will be getting it to the rural areas where it is needed most,” said Jumbe. n