Agricultural commercialisation project makes progress

Agricultural Commercialisation Project (Agcom) plans to strike agreements with 40 off-takers to increase commercialisation of selected agriculture value chain products by end of June this year.

An off-taker agreement is a deal between a producer and a buyer that formalises a buyer’s intention to purchase a certain amount of the producer’s future output.

Speaking at a sensitisation meeting with off-takers and other stakeholders in Mzuzu  on Monday,  Agcom national coordinator Ted Nakhumwa  said the project has so far established eight productive alliances.

He said three of the alliances namely Chikwawa based  Minyali which is into cotton production, Mtendere Tea Cooperative from Thyolo and a Ntchisi based Cheka Groundnut Seed Cooperative, are expected to receive grants where Agcom is paying them 70 percent of their request.

“Producers have shown much interest in the project and more cooperatives into horticulture, fisheries, crop production and livestock are being formed across the country,” he said.

Malawi Investment and Trade Centre(Mitc) chief executive officer Clement Kumbemba said Malawi has been failing to produce enough agricultural products to meet global demand.

“For example, Mitc is able to solicit export inquiries of over $500 million per year, but the challenge has been supply constraints,” he said.

The project, which aims at empowering producers by increasing production is being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry Trade and Tourism. World Bank financed the six-year project which became effective in 2018 with a $95 million (about K70 billion) loan.  

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