AHCX successfully completes procurement of maize for the strategic grain reserves

  • AHCX successfully completes procurement of maize for the strategic grain reserves

    AHL Commodities Exchange (AHCX) which was this year appointed by government as the procurement agent to purchase and deliver 32,000 metric tonnes of maize into the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) storage facilities says it has completed the exercise on Friday, 2nd November, 2018.

    AHCX Research and Communications Manager Mark Ndipita said in an interview that AHCX has procured 3,678 metric tonnes in Luchenza, 7,470 metric tonnes in Mzuzu, 19,672 metric tonnes in Lilongwe, and 1,180 metric tonnes in Liwonde totaling 32,000 metric tonnes

    “We closed Liwonde warehouse on 16th October, 2018 and on 31st October we closed Mzuzu and Luchenza warehouses because the targeted volumes for these warehouses were achieved, and we finalized the whole procurement exercise on 2nd November, 2018 in Lilongwe after successfully achieving the target of 32,000 metric tonnes,” Ndipita said.

    Ndipita has described the whole exercise as a success because many smallholder farmers participated in selling their maize at a competitive price of K150 per kilogram which was set by Government from which a 3 percent withholding tax was deducted.

    He said, “Smallholder farmers participated in the exercise by selling through the open market walk-in system which allowed farmers and small traders to deliver the maize to warehouses volumes from 0.5 metric tonnes to 15 metric tonnes. In addition, other smallholder farmers sold their maize through the window of various farmers organizations such as Farmers Union of Malawi.”

    Ndipita also said the setting up of an Independent Procurement Committee (IPC) by AHCX Management to oversee accountability, fairness, objectivity and transparency of the procurement process has helped a lot to ensure that the whole procurement exercise was corrupt free.

    He said the IPC helped in putting in place various surveillance and reporting systems to curb any attempts at corruption by any stakeholder.

    He said, “AHCX engaged the IPC which comprised different stakeholders such as the Anti- Corruption Bureau, CISANET, MCCCI, AHCX Management and the Auditor General’s office. Their key roles were to call for Expressions of Interest and delivery bookings; evaluate all submissions and recommend award of contracts; ensure accountability, fairness, objectivity and transparency in the procurement and delivery of maize; and monitoring and evaluation of the whole procurement process.”

    Ndipita also highlighted that the booking-in-system which was put in place by AHCX helped a lot to ensure that farmers and traders do not wait on long queues to deliver their maize because they were informed in advance the day when they would deliver their maize.

    He said the exercise has been a success because of the support AHCX received from different stakeholders such as NFRA, Government, Ministry of Agriculture, Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, the IPC, farmer organization, farmers, traders and the general public.

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