We stole no one’s mar­ket – Mabuda Farm

Observer on Saturday - - News -

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.

Re­sources

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.

Change

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

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