Africa-Press – Malawi. Agriculture experts say there is still need for the government to invest in strengthening the commercial arm of its grain-trader, the Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc), and avoid political interference in its strategic activities.
This, the experts say, will help in making the firm’s turn-around strategy successful. In an interview, agronomist Leonard Chimwaza said social services tasks of Admarc should be left in the hands of National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA), instead.
“Admarc has lost its path. One would wonder if Admarc is indeed a development and marketing corporation. Its strategic direction is inclined towards provision of social services and not agribusiness,” Chimwaza said.
He said Admarc’s commercial arm did not get necessary strategic support, hence its inability to generate its own finances. In a separate interview, Africa Institute for Corporate Citizenship (AICC) Chief Executive Officer Driana Lwanda said funds should be disbursed to Admarc according to the actual needs of people.
Another agriculture expert Tamani Nkhono Mvula said Admarc acts as a market stabiliser to ensure that smallholder farmers are cushioned from exploitation by the private sector, hence the need for adequate and timely funding from the government.
Lately, there have been protracted disagreements on what should happen to turn around its fortunes. Last week, the government said it would not be pumping money into the corporation, asking authorities to come up with income generating strategies.
But Admarc General Manager Rhino Chiphiko challenged the government to be decisive on Admarc, saying it wants to get from Admarc what it did not invest.
Admarc owes commercial banks a whopping K64 billion, out of which K12 billion is interest. It is looking for K540 billion to implement a turnaround strategy.