Market access for farmers in Malawi
Market Distribution Center as solution for the farmers!
Johan Cottenie, programme coach for Tradeline, is intrigued by the agricultural situation in Malawi. Vegetable farmers have limited to no access to suitable transport and reliable buyers in Malawi. As a consequence 25% of their harvests is wasted every season. The fact that the same vegetables are sold at the same time in supermarkets in the country but imported from South Africa is even more frustrating.
Tradeline is working hard to structure the vegetable market in and around Lilongwe Malawi by setting up a Market Distribution Center. Following the example of REO Auction in Roeselare, the farmers are now working together on transportation, packaging and selling their products. Together they can reach larger volumes and better quality. This is the only way in which they can reach the buyers and sell their harvests at good prices.
During the beginning of July 2019, Johan Cottenie was in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi. He worked with the task force on the further realization of the Market Distrubution Center. Although Tradeline, supported by REO Auction and Exchange, is the driving force in this story, the involvement with farmers is substantial. The task force consists out of representatives of small, semi-commercial and commercial farmers and together they represent more than 500 farmers.
In the meantime, the implementation of the distribution center has finally started. The first building was inaugurated, refrigerated transport was purchased and two employees were recruited. Johan supervised the elaboration of the phased implementation plan. He also worked intensively with the microfinance institution within Tradeline on financial planning.
We look forward to the next steps in the partnership between Tradeline and REO Veiling and the further professionalization on microfinancing!