FARMERS have been urged to utilise the Zambia Agricultural Commodities Exchange (ZAMACE) platform to stock their produce in secure warehouses and wait for prices to improve.
ZAMACE executive director Jacob Mwale said once a farmer deposits their grain with the exchange, they will be issued with a warehouse receipt that will be used as collateral to acquire finance and inputs.
Mr Mwale said when grains are deposited, a farmer is assured of safety and can negotiate for a better price for their produce with their preferred buyer.
“The important thing about ZAMACE is that farmers will secure their crops in the warehouse and be given a receipt, which entails that the farmer will not be in a panic mode to sell.
“The warehouse receipt is a document equivalent to title for land and, similarly, it can be used to borrow money and buying of inputs,” he said on the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation programme dubbed Sunday Interview.
Mr Mwale said currently, crops which can be deposited with ZAMACE are maize, soya beans, wheat, sunflower and sorghum.
“We will soon finalise the deposit of cowpeas and legumes,” he said.
Mr Mwale also said ZAMACE does not restrict farmers to come with a broker to participate but anyone can take part, either through a cooperative, individually, small and medium trader, as long as they are registered.
He said the exchange is also offering guidance and orientation skills to interested parties.
Mr Mwale said due to clear policy announcement in the agriculture sector by Government, registered warehouse space has increased from 425,000 tonnes to 750,000 tonnes and farmers from across the country will be engaged on how to benefit from the platform.
Recently, Government allowed exports of maize and has opened the market to allow factors of demand and supply to determine the price.