Farmers urged to bargain for high prices

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An agricultural expert has asked farmers in the country to take the responsibility of bargaining for high prices whenever they are selling their crops on the market.

This is coming after farmers protested government’s decision to set the maize price at K170/Kg without consulting them saying the set price is low.

Farmers Union of Malawi said farmers toil on the farm and are the ones who can determine good prices for their produce.

Tamani Nkhono Mvula

Nkhono Mvula: Farmers have to set the standards.

But in an interview with Malawi24, agriculture expert Tamani Nkhono Mvula said there has been a misunderstanding of what a minimum price is by the farmers.

Nkhono Mvula said minimum prices on the market indicate the price at which a farmer cannot make losses after selling the farm produce.

“Minimum prices by nature are not supposed to be the market price but they are supposed to indicate the price at which, if a farmer  sells at he is not going to break-even, meaning he not going to make a loss however these estimates may vary with time and space,” said Nkhono Mvula.

He added that it is up to the farmers to negotiate with the traders in order to sell their crops at a price higher than the market price.

He further said that it is interesting that farmers are complaining about this arrangement.

“It is unfortunate that most traders take advantage of the farmers’ ignorance and present to them as if the minimum price set by the government is the price at which crops should be bought no matter what,” he said.

According to Nkhono Mvula, farmers associations or cooperatives are supposed to bargain for higher price at the point of sell but they should make sure that the price at which they are selling is already above the minimum price.

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