AHCX Farmer Outreach 2014
The massive sensitization campaign currently being implemented across the country by the AHL Commodities Exchange (AHCX) marketing team is encouraging small producers and agricultural cooperatives to increase their production levels.
In the sensitization meetings aimed at reaching out to farmers, AHCX has been collaborating with district assemblies, NGO’s and various district agricultural authorities.
Most smallholder farmers and cooperatives have expressed hope that the coming of AHXC will help them in accessing a reliable marketing system that guarantees quality, grading and payment. During one of the sensitization meetings in Kasungu, Mr. Msowoya a smallholder farmer challenged other farmers to produce more commodities in the next growing season since there is now a reliable marketplace in the name of AHCX.
The major source of income for most smallholder farmers (80%) in Malawi is agriculture. The challenging part with agriculture based income is that it comes once a year especially with rain fed agriculture. In pursuit of Millennium Development Goal 1 (MDG 1), the Malawi government introduced subsided fertilizer program which has enabled people to increase their agricultural productivity rendering Malawi food secure. The surplus agricultural products are sold for income. It is hence important for these farmers to have access to a reliable market for their produce. Farmers in most areas produce a lot of maize, beans, tomatoes and other vegetable crops.
During the interactions with various farmers, it was established that the production levels usually exceed the household food requirements. The farming households hence sell surplus maize, beans and other crops for them to source money for financing their day to day livelihood such as paying for household bills and buying farm inputs for the next growing season.
AHCX is the first national level commodity exchange with integrated and organized infrastructure for commodities trading in Malawi. So far, agricultural commodities such as Maize, Groundnuts, and Soya beans are being traded.