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Farmers under SALFP Program Smile amidst Market Failure

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Some farmers from Mwamulo Famers Club, one of the many clubs that AICC has mobilized in Kanjiwa EPA, Ntchisi District
Some farmers from Mwamulo Farmers' Club, one of the many clubs that AICC has mobilized in Kanjiwa EPA, Ntchisi District

In this 2016/2017 season, farmers have faced a number of challenges in respect to fluctuation of their prices. Attracted by better prices which they received the previous year, farmers dedicated themselves this year which has generally turned to be one of the best years with above normal rainfall. However the challenge has been prices which on average, turned out to be half of what farmers sold their produce last year. Buyers that entered into contract farming followed market prices as stipulated in their contracts. Some buyers came out of the signed contracts because they were not binding. Some high value markets resorted to using small traders to aggregate commodities at the same low market prices just to take advantage of farmers. This meant huge losses for farmers and a great reduction on their disposable incomes and inability to provide for their families.

Amidst this market failure, some farmers under the Sustainable Agriculture Lead Farmer (SALFP) Program which is being implemented by, the African Institute of Corporate Citizenship (AICC) with support from the Development Fund of Norway have a different story to tell. Under the project, AICC mobilizes farmers to be in groups where they aggregate commodities for them to sell collectively.

These farmers were able to aggregate their commodities, store it and wait for prices to pick up. While most farmers sold their Soya Beans at average prices of MK100 per Kg, now these farmers are selling at average prices of MK200 per Kg. Such clubs include Mwamulo Farmers Club in Ntchisi District, three Cooperatives in Mzimba and One Cooperative in Lilongwe rural district whose stories appear below.

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