We stole no one’s market – Mabuda Farm
Mabuda Farm, the entity cited by Maphatsindvuku vegetable farmers as having taken over the Siteki market is denying the allegation as completely incorrect.
Says Helen Pons “this story is completely incorrect. Mabuda is primarily a maize farm however recently we have started growing seedlings and are encouraging local farmers to buy from us so they can grow their own vegetables.
We have a small garden under shade and when we have excess vegetables we sell them directly to the vendors but the quantity is minimal and would never cause vegetable growers to lose Maphatsindvuku this week fetched E10 while eight beetroot tubers cost a paltry E5 as well as eight onions cost E5. We purchased for E35, enough vegetable supply to last a family of two for two months.
On the price mix NAMBoard management said “farmers need to be aware of the existing difference between farm gate prices and retail prices for the reasons of costs involved in all stages. When retailers and NAMBoard buy produce at farm gate they relieve the famers of several costs and risks including transport costs, handling, packaging, refrigeration, shelve space spoilage and storage which under normal conditions are in excess of 40 per cent of the overall selling price. Inversely when farmers opt to sell by the road side and directly to individuals they incur these costs.
Most farmers tend to undermine the loss arising from such hidden costs. As a courtesy and in the spirit of development, NAMBoard sets floor prices when signing contracts with farmers. As part of our object of stimulating farmers, NAMBoard offers a floor price to farmers contracted to her which in most cases is higher than the national gross margins and that of retail shops in overall.
This is unprecedented and provides farmers with security that whatever happens they at least have money to produce the next crop. Additionally transport costs, storage costs are borne by the institution which constitutes anything between 33 per cent and 40 per cent of marketing costs for small holder farmers.Due to its versatility of this industry, most economies follow the norm of having the market being self-regulated by the forces of demand and supply rather than price fixing. This benefits farmers that are advised their market.” of scheduled production in times of low supply and or on produce of high value in the cycles.
It is for this reason that most of NAMBoard’s resources and efforts are directed at developing farmers to ensure they use better varieties, achieve better yields and have increased access to markets.In addition to the above, as vegetables are more perishable, all shops and retailers endure additional costs from farm gate to actual sale of produce.
These include logistics, handling packaging, refrigeration and shelve space when we consider these additional handling costs the prices retailers use to sell produce my not be translated to rip off on the aspect of farmers.” True to the assertion another farmer popularly known as Mamba in Maphatsindvuku grows green pepper (pimento) for the marketing board but also grows other vegetables for other markets in order to sustain himself in the face of the available market forces. However the other farmers say they could not afford this luxury because of limited land space and inputs.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2, End hunger: achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.If done right, agriculture, forestry and fisheries can provide nutritious food for all and generate decent incomes, while supporting people-centred rural development and protecting the environment. Right now, our soils, freshwater, oceans, forests and biodiversity are being rapidly degraded. Climate change is putting even more pressure on the resources we depend on, increasing risks associated with disasters such as droughts and floods. Many rural women and men can no longer make ends meet on their land, forcing them to migrate to cities in search of opportunities.
A profound change of the global food and agriculture system is needed if we are to nourish today’s 795 million hungry and the additional 2 billion people expected by 2050. The food and agriculture sector offers key solutions for development, and is central for hunger and poverty eradication.
In the same vein Goal 1 No poverty, aims at eradicating poverty in all its forms remains one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. While the number of people living in extreme poverty dropped by more than half between 1990 and 2015 – from 1.9 billion to 836 million – too many are still struggling for the most basic human needs.
Globally, more than 800 million people are still living on less than US$1.25 a day, many lacking access to adequate food, clean drinking water and sanitation. Rapid economic growth in countries like China and India has lifted millions out of poverty, but progress has been uneven. Women are more likely to live in poverty than men due to unequal access to paid work, education and property.
Progress has also been limited in other regions, such as South Asia and subSaharan Africa, which account for 80 per cent of those living in extreme poverty. New threats brought on by climate change, conflict and food insecurity, mean even more work is needed to bring people out of poverty.
BLEAK FUTURE: Although Wakhile Mamba has acquired farming skills at the age of four, he is losing the enthusiasm to become a vegetable farmer like his mother because no one seems interested in buying the produce at the end of the day. He is uncertain on how he is going to afford school in the future.
TAKEN OVER: Mabuda Farm