Crop Husbandry Key to Better Profit
By Chipi Kantikana
The Agricultural Commodity Exchange
for Africa (ACE) has been in agricultural commodity trade for
almost eight years. In the early days,ACE services were mostly
accessed by large traders and other big organizations. In recent
years, however, the scale has started to shift towards small holder
Subsequently,ACE has embarked on a
big sensitization campaign to inform small holder farmers about the
opportunities they can access through its services.
Good Commodity, Better
Oftentimes small holder farmers'
commodities fail to receive good prices because of their low
volumes or poor quality.
For that reason,ACE has lined up a
number of farmer field days under the theme Good Commodity, Good
Price. The field day activities have been designed to impart
knowledge to the farmers on how quality of the commodity has to be
maintained from the field to the warehouse.
Small holder farmers have realized
the importance of accessing reliable market information and using
warehouses for aggregation in order to obtain better profit margins
on their commodities.
Guest Share their views at
a farmer Field day in Lilongwe
During the Farmers Field day held
in Lilongwe on the 16th of April 2013, the Lilongwe
District Agricultural Development Officer (DADO) lamented that
farmers have not fully cooperated with the Ministry of Agriculture
by adopting modern farming practices endorsed. These could improve
the quality of their commodities. He advised the farmers to take
the lessons learnt more seriously.
DADO for Lilongwe
stressing a point to farmers
Senior chiefs, including
Traditional Authority (TA) Kalumbu, also attended the event.
Kalumbu, thankful to ACE for the services it is providing to small
holder farmers, indicated that while most other organizations
simply assist farmers in the fields,ACEhas come forward to help
farmers market their commodities. He pointed out that in their
endeavors to find better markets farmers have lost their
commodities to bogus buyers. The information about the services
provided, in his view, could not have come at a better time as
farmers were just about to finish harvesting.
Senior attendees also noted that
the warehouse receipt system, a key service offered byACE, could
not only help improve food security in the area, but it could also
help the farmers access the much needed loans or farm inputs.
ACE Trade Facilitation Manager
Chipiliro Kantikana assured all attendees at the gathering that ACE
will continue to sensitize farmers about its services to help them
evaluate their marketing options and realize better profit margins.
He also thanked USAID for the financial support provided to ACE and
its sensitization activities through its Market Linkages
Another field day has been
scheduled for Kafulu, Dowa at the end of April 2013.