Robust agro commodities exchange vital

BETTERNOW Finance Limited managing director Noel Nkhoma says a robust agricultural commodities exchange is crucial in alleviating exploitation of small-scale farmers in the country.
Mr Nkhoma, however, said small-scale farmers will only realise the full benefits of agriculture if they are to get value for their money unlike the current situation where some farmers sell their produce for less than the inputs to traders on the open market.
Currently, the country has one agricultural commodities exchange, Zambia Agricultural Commodities Exchange, (ZAMACE), which was established by stakeholders in the agriculture sector, seeking structured market mechanism that addresses the multiple market imperfections that stifle growth such as high transaction costs, low and asymmetric levels of market information.
Mr Nkhoma feels opening up of grain commodity trading by strengthening ZAMACE and opening more platforms will transform agriculture.
“Agriculture needs to be run as a business and this should be done through the opening up of grain commodity trading. The problem of maize marketing, for instance, would not exist if we had a structured market,” he said.
He said placing emphasis on agriculture remains cardinal in addressing food security and increasing household incomes.

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