The Export Development Fund (EDF) has urged local farmers to properly grade their produce if are to attract better prices on the market.
The call comes amid concerns that farmers in the country were not getting fair prices on their produce especially legume.
EDF Production Manager, Henry Kaunda told a marketing conference organized by the Africa Institute of Corporate Citizenship (AICC) in Lilongwe on Wednesday that EDF is seeking to improve the working relationship between the fund, farmers and farmer organisations to eradicate the challenges that have been experienced on the legume market.
“Our main mandate is to grow the exports base and now our focus under the commodity market is that we link them [farmers] to our export markets. Exports markets demand quality and that is why we are asking the farmers to properly grade their commodities,” Kaunda said.
AICC Head of programmes, Driana Luanda, said that the conference was organized to level the playing field and give the farmers a platform to raise their concerns to strengthen the legume industry.
One of the farmers who attended the conference, Austine Kachigunda, said that most of the farmers exercise caution, when grading their produces but that vendors are to blame for the low quality produce on markets.
“The grading issue is not our problem but the vendors. We are concerned with the prices they offer us because they do not keep their promise and this time, we want the price agreement to be in writing.
“Last year, they promised to buy Soya at K250 per kilogramme but on the market, we were offered K160 per kilogramme,” Kachigunda said.