MALAWI – The Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) of Malawi is seeking K100 billion (US$135.2m) loan from the Export Development Fund (EDF) with guarantee from government to finance the purchase of maize and cash crops from small-scale farmers.

Admarc is a government-owned corporation that promotes the Malawian economy by increasing the volume and quality of its agricultural exports and develop new foreign markets for the consumption of Malawian agricultural produce to support the farmers.

Admarc acting chief executive officer Felix Jumbe said that the State produce trader is seeking the capital injection to revamp itself into a serious business entity as Treasury capital injection alone would not be enough.

He said, “At the moment, government has committed to support Admarc to secure maize which is for food security purposes. For a start, government has given us K5 billion (  US$6.7m) but there is an allocation of K9.2 billion (US$12.4m) up to June, thereafter, we will have to negotiate for more funding.

“Government has also allowed us to have financial arrangements with EDF for buying cash crops, including maize, which was not allowed under the EDF for commercial purposes. This will ensure Admarc has buffer stock in terms of commercial maize hoarding which even the government would be able to buy back at an appropriate time.”

Admarc’s plan to buy 600 000 metric tonnes (MT) this year, with the remaining tonnage of about 150 000 MT to be sold to private companies that use maize as a raw material for production.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Francis Kasaila announced farm produce minimum prices with maize pegged at K200 per kilogramme. Admarc has started buying the maize in different regions in the country.

According to the First Round of Agricultural Production Survey, there is an estimated 8.8 percent increase in maize production from 3 393 924 metric tonnes in the 2018/2019 growing season to 3 691 866 in the 2019/2020 season.