AMTA to buy grain from small scale farmers

19 Jul 2016 14:50pm
OSHAKATI, 19 JUL (NAMPA) – The Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA) has called on local grain producers, including Green Scheme projects, to sell their products to the agency.
A media statement on Monday said AMTA will be buying the grain through its National Strategic Food Reserve division.
According to AMTA's Corporate Branding and Promotion Officer, Meke Uushona, the project is put in place to replenish the agency's silos in which grain is stored and to be used in emergencies such as in times of drought.
“These silos are filled regularly as a hunger crisis can occur at any time and once the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) that determines how the grain is utilized requests for us to release some grains for drought relief, AMTA quickly has to try and fill it as soon as possible.”
Uushona said this could be a great opportunity for small-scale farmers who produce mahangu or maize. She said the agency buys grain to refill their silos every year, which could benefit small-scale crop farmers if they become regular suppliers.
“We are advising these farmers to start producing more so they have a surplus for business purposes as some of them have bigger pieces of land but only produce for their immediate families.
“It could also help them in case of drought, which is mostly hard for mahangu and maize consumers.”
Namibia currently faces one of its most devastating droughts in more than 30 years, which prompted the Head of State to declare a State of Emergency last month.
Uushona added that only the best product is bought, as this grain can be stored for up to two years before consumption.
“We test the grains before we purchase it so we ensure that it does not contaminate the rest of it. This is done as even the millers buy from our storage and we therefore want to ensure that the people’s health is maintained,” she said.