By Malawi Exclusive
In a bold move that is aimed at protecting small scale farmers from unscrupulous traders who buy farm produce at low prices, government has announced minimum farm produce set prices for the year 2022.
Announcing the development on Wednesday in Lilongwe, Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe has warned that no one should buy the commodities below the set minimum prices.
“Buyers of agricultural produce should not be allowed to buy produce from our smallholder farmers at a price below the set minimum prices. All buyers should obtain agricultural produce buying licence which can be processed either from my ministry, agricultural development divisions and all district councils,” Lowe told reporters.
“Buying agricultural produce without a licence and below the set minimum prices is an offence and the law will take its course.”
Lowe explained that his ministry considered cost of production, market forces and price trends for the previous year’s in order to come up with this year’s minimum farm gate prices.
Lowe added that his ministry also consulted stakeholders such as Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM), NASFAM, African Institute for Corporate Citizenship (AICC), Ministry of Trade and Industry, Grain Traders Association of Malawi and Indigenous Traders Association in coming up with the prices.
The agriculture minister then urged all stakeholders to work with government in enforcing the prices.
“I wish to request all district councils, local leaders and all security agencies to assist my ministry in the enforcement these minimum set prices,” he emphasized.
According to the minimum set prices, maize will be selling at K220 per kg while polished and unpolished rice will be selling at K700 and K300 per kg respectively.
Sorghum will be selling at K360 while Finger Millet is pegged at K480 per kg. Soya beans will be selling at K480, pure beans at K480 while White Harricot beans will be selling at K500 per kg.
The Ministry also announced that mixed beans will be selling at K460 while shelled and unshelled groundnuts will be selling K750 and K450 per kg respectively.
Pigeons Peas will be selling at K420, Cow Peas at K560, Paprika K900 while Chillies will be selling at K1,500 per kg.
Sesame will be selling at K950, wet Cassava at K110 , Cotton at K400 while Bambara nuts have been pegged at K600 per kg.