Farmers from Mvera in Dowa are excited with the newly- constructed warehouse courtesy of Agriculture Commodities Exchange (ACE) for Africa and are are optimistic that they will now sell their produce at their desired prices.
The warehouse, currently under Mgwirizano Cooperative, will serve about 3 000 farmers from Mvera Extension Planning Area.
Speaking on the sidelines of the warehouse handover on Friday, Mgwirizano Cooperative chairperson Andrea Chimpeni said in an interview the facility will minimise the storage challenges farmers were facing, which often led to selling produce soon after harvest and at lower prices.
“We could not bring our commodities together as a cooperative because we had nowhere to store. Now that we have the warehouse, we can wait to sell our produce when prices are more favourable. That way we will get better returns for our commodities,” he said.
Dowa Agricultural extension development coordinator Josephine Kaonga said farmers will realise their dream to sell produce as a cooperative and not as individuals.
“When they sell as a group, the proceeds come at once and they can easily buy fertiliser and other farm inputs using the proceeds,” she said.
ACE field and training coordinator Adrian Semba said they will manage the warehouse, which can stock 450 metric tonnes (MT) of produce, until 2021 when the project phases out.