Small-Scale Farmers in Chitipa District Forge Collaboration with Home Industries for Market Access
This initiative is part of the "Savings for Agriculture and Marketing" project implemented by AFAP
Chitipa, Malawi — Small-scale farmers in Senior Chief Mwaulambia's area in Chitipa have received assurances of a fruitful collaboration with Home Industries, an agro-processing company, writes Patricia Kayuni.
This partnership aims to enable local farmers to sell their agricultural produce directly to the company, eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming trips to neighbouring Tanzania, where they traditionally sold their goods.
During a recent meeting with groups of farmers in the district, Home Industries' Executive Director, Victoria Mwafulirwa, expressed the company's commitment to providing extension services to assist farmers in achieving high crop yields.
These services will include field visits by Home Industries' officers who will offer guidance and support throughout the farming process.
Mwafulirwa emphasized that this partnership would be mutually beneficial, ensuring that farmers produce high-quality products that Home Industries can purchase.
"It's a win-win situation for both us and the farmers," stated Mwafulirwa. "Apart from bringing the market closer to them, they will have access to our officers in the fields who will be visiting them, advising them throughout their time in the fields. As for us, we are assured of quality products from these farmers."
Mwafulirwa encouraged farmers to transition to commercial agriculture to improve their livelihoods.
She noted that Home Industries would offer competitive prices for crops such as maize, sunflower, and soya beans compared to what farmers received in Tanzania.
The ultimate goal is to empower farmers to turn farming into a profitable business.
Esayilo Kita, a farmer from Katutula, shared the challenges farmers face when travelling to and from Tanzania to sell their produce.
After months of hard work in the fields, they often face exploitation from foreign traders who offer low prices.
Kita expressed hope for a more promising year ahead, thanks to Home Industries' presence, and he plans to cultivate crops that the company is willing to purchase.
Fiskani Nyondo, an official at the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP), highlighted the positive impact of this collaboration.
He noted that Chitipa's farmers have struggled with accessing markets, which is why AFAP partnered with Home Industries to address this challenge.
Nyondo encouraged farmers to commit themselves to their fields to produce high-quality yields that would fetch better prices.
This initiative is part of the "Savings for Agriculture and Marketing" project implemented by AFAP, with support from Financial Access for Rural Markets, Smallholders, and Enterprise (FARMSE).