Smallholder farmers at Makumbo in Nkhata Bay have decried lack of markets for their crops which they say is limiting efforts to take up farming as a business.
Speaking during a field day on Friday, a groundnuts farmer Kachikuwa Mwale said Makumbo is an excluded area located away from conventional markets.
He said vendors have taken advantage of their plight and they buy produce at lower prices than those offered on the market.
“We have embraced commercial farming so we can educate our children. But we are not making profits due to lack of markets. We cannot access markets due to poor road networks,” he said.
In response, Nkhata Bay district gender roles extension support services officer Gladwell Banda said the council is encouraging farmers to form cooperatives or associations to search for markets and sell their produce as a group.
“Before farmers cultivate any crop, they are first of all advised to research on markets, find buyers and agree on prices,” he said.
The field day was organised by the Livingstonia Synod Aids Programme (Lisap) which is implementing a project that targets the youth in Nkhata Bay to actively participate in agriculture.
Lisap executive director Gray Sidira said the project has also linked farmers to banks and exchange commodity markets so they can find capital and markets.
The project, named Youth Active in Climate Smart Agriculture, is being implemented in partnership with National Association of Smallholder Farmers (Nasfam) with funding from Help a Child Malawi n