Elita Chikwati Senior Agriculture Reporter
The Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) is encouraging agribusinesses and all players who depend on raw materials from the sector to enter into production and marketing contracts with farmers for the 2021/22 summer cropping season.
This comes as the authority is promoting local sourcing of raw material and supporting growth in the agriculture industry.
Contractors will be encouraged to secure at least 40 percent of their annual raw material requirements through contracting growers.
“AMA has registered farmers into production clusters whom contractors can utilise for contract farming arrangements. Companies and individuals who wish to undertake contract farming during the 2021/22 season are required to register or renew their licences in accordance with the provisions of AMA Act CAP:18;24 SI 147 of 2021,” said AMA.
“AMA is inviting contractors for maize, soyabeans, sorghum, sunflower, sesame and cotton. The authority is also encouraging contract arrangements in the livestock sector.”
A review of SI 129 of 2017 (Livestock Development Levy) to strengthen and protect contractors in the sector is now complete.
AMA is also registering and renewing licences for institutions and individuals intending to buy or sell or manufacture agricultural inputs.
“Once registered contractors, input manufactures, buyers and processors will be required to submit returns on growers, input support levels and inputs supply situation,” said AMA. “Product prices and purchases and processed products.”
Commercial contract farming is a sustainable way of capacitating local farmers to venture into production, thereby improving food security and ensuring employment creation.
Government recently gave a new mandate to AMA to play a critical role towards the attainment of Vision 2030 and the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy (2020-2025).
The authority is also expected to ensure that A1, A2 and other resettled farmers and business are linked to vibrant markets for the growth of the industry by December in pursuit of Vision 2030.
AMA is also mandated to proffer policy advice for transforming the agriculture escort to a US$8,2 billion by 2025 and develop robust business strategies for the self-sustaining financing mechanisms for the AMA operations by December 2021.
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