ACE Trains Rural Staff

By Frank Kadzakumanja

In a bid to increase efficiency and effectiveness in its operations, Agricultural Commodity Exchange (ACE) organized a one week training course from 29th October to November 2nd, 2012 for its enumerators, warehouse operators and trade agents at its head office in Lilongwe. Filled with excitement of the new coming season, with most projects reaching a mature stage, the 5 days session attracted vibrant and inquisitive participants across 28 markets in Malawi. The objective of the training was for ACE to equip its staff with the right knowledge to disburse to smallholder farmers and for them to fully understand their roles under ACE trading terms and contracts.  This was a follow-up to the first training held in May, 2012.

SAM_0374 Group photo

                  SAM_0383                                                 Participants listen to a presentation by Kristian Schach Moller                      

Speaking on Monday 29thOctober, 2012 in Lilongwe at the official opening day, Principal Advisor for ACE Kristian Schach Moller said he was pleased to learn that most trade agents and enumerators for ACE are doing their job very well especially in sensitizing the smallholder farmers on the best approaches needed for them to excel and linking them to better agricultural markets. 

"Looking at the sensitizations data, I must say that I am very pleased to say that most of you have sensitized more farmers and more contracts have been generated under ACE" He said. He further pledged more support for them in terms of capacity building and resources so that come 2013, all operations should improve and more farmers across Malawi and beyond should be reached. Also speaking at the same function was the Trade facilitation Manager for ACE Miss Edna Chamgwera who said that the success of ACE lies in the hands of the Trade Agents as they are responsible for linking the smallholder farmer, who is the main producer, to the market. "You are the ones that can help push the volumes traded through the exchange"she said. During the training, participants learned about ACE trading terms, Warehouse Receipt System, Esoko, Trade facilitation and Basic Marketing.

Agricultural Commodity Exchange for Africa (ACE) was established in 2004 and commenced trading on 26th October 2006. National Smallholder Farmers' Association (NASFAM) initiated establishment of ACE because of a need to create better market access and to bring more transparency to the marketplace.  ACE strives to establish a regional Commodity Exchange of the highest integrity, available to all people in Africa, and acceptable to international traders, based upon an open, free market system for the mutual benefit of producers and consumers.

In Malawi, agriculture plays a vital role in the economy as almost 85% of foreign earnings are obtained from this sector.