ATC reaffirms capacity to deliver, supports diversification

Agricultural Trading Company (ATC), a subsidiary of diversified business venture AHL Group, says it is poised to support farmers to realise their potential espoused in the newly-launched agriculture policy target of 100 percent growth in yields.

President Peter Mutharika last week launched the national agriculture and irrigation policies in Lilongwe that seek to raise the profile of the agricultural sector to effectively contribute to national development.

“We have been part and parcel of the agriculture story in Malawi since 1962. ATC is actively involved in all the thematic areas highlighted in the two agriculture policies,” he said. ATC marketing manager Maxwell Ng’ambi, in an interview on Friday touted the company as the “most experienced and innovative one-stop agriculture shop in the country”.

Ng’ambi said the agriculture policy addresses input use and markets with specific reference to inorganic fertiliser.

He said at all their 17 delivery points nationwide, ATC stocks various fertilisers to increase the nutrient use per hectare of inorganic fertiliser.

Figures from the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development show that nutrient use per hectare of inorganic fertiliser is at an average of 43 kilogramme (kg) per hectare. This is far much lower than the world’s average of 100 kg per hectare.

“Both fertilisers and seed are packaged in the right and affordable packs to suit the pockets of varying farmers,” said Ng’ambi.

He said ATC shops have stocks of maize, tobacco, vegetables, legumes and other seeds.

According to the launched agriculture policy, anecdotal evidence suggests that crop losses due to pests can reach as high as 30 percent.

The agriculture policy also details concern for limited crop diversification, particularly in the smallholder sector.

Mutharika said the two policies have potential to turn around the fortunes of the country.

The two policies’ goal is to contribute to the attainment of national food security, poverty reduction and national economic development as outlined in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS).

Sourced from The Nation Online

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