AHCX in move to attract more small scale farmers
Malawi’s fastest growing agricultural produce market AHL Commodities Exchange (AHCX), has announced a downward adjustment in the minimum tonnage farmers can sell through the exchange.
AHCX says it has started accepting a minimum of half-a-ton or 10 bags weighing 50 kilogrammes each, from one ton or 20 bags before. The commodities can be deposited at any of AHCX 20 warehouses spread across the country from Chitipa to Muloza in Mulanje.
Making the announcement in Lilongwe on Tuesday, AHCX Communications Manager, Thom Khanje, said the move was aimed at opening up the exchange to more small scale farmers in the country.
“The issue of minimum tonnage is particularly critical this year as many farmers were not able to realise large harvests due to drought that affected most parts of the country,” said Khanje.
“Our primary goal as AHCX is to provide farmers with a steady and reliable market for their produce at better prices. We believe that allowing farmers to bring small quantities of their produce to the exchange will extend this opportunity to more farmers,” said Khanje.
AHCX is a modern marketplace for agricultural commodities in Malawi and the only end-to-end and national level commodity exchange in Malawi. It operates an auction market for grain and legume crops where buyers compete in acquiring crops from farmers and commodity traders.
It is a subsidiary of AHL Group – a company with over 70 years’ experience auctioning tobacco, and opened its doors on October 27, 2013
Commodities currently trading on AHCX include maize, soya beans, pigeon peas, sugar beans, red kidney beans, groundnuts, rice, sunflower and others.
Sellers bring their commodity and decide the price while buyers – both local and international, compete when buying commodity through spot trading.
Produce is deposited at any of its warehouses across the country and trading takes place in Lilongwe using Warehouse Receipts with information about the commodity, location, its quantity, quality and the asking price for the farmer.
Commodity can be kept in an AHCX warehouse for up to three months as the seller waits for prices to improve. While commodity is in the warehouse, farmers can access loans from various banks with the Warehouse Receipt Financing facility commodity deposited at AHCX as collateral.
When commodity is sold, money is paid through the farmer’s bank 24 hours after transaction. By selling commodity through AHCX, farmers are assured of payment while buyers are assured of delivery and quality of commodity.