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– The Herald

The Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Knowledge Transfer Africa (KTA) that will eventually result in the development of marketing models for the local agricultural sector.

For long, small agricultural players in the country have had no choice but to sell their products at the main green markets such as Mbare Musika, which inflates their costs due to transportation costs, as well as the challenge of dealing with unscrupulous middlemen.

The partnership will see KTA providing indepth market data to AMA, which in turn will use that information to craft market linkages for the sector.

AMA is mandated with the overall regulation of the production, marketing and processing of agricultural products in the country.

Said AMA chief executive Clever Isaya:

“Market information and market linkages are instrumental in ensuring the efficient operation of agriculture markets.

“This partnership will therefore allow convergence of minds amongst market actors and thus facilitate creation of structured and organised markets.”

“This memorandum of understanding is for purposes of developing models for marketing and also creating a platform where AMA can register all traders and get information about agricultural markets in Zimbabwe,”

reads part of the document.

In terms of the agreement, KTA — a knowledge broking and information sharing company — will be obligated to create market linkages data for AMA.

KTA shall, at its different agricultural markets across Zimbabwe, collect commodity prices, supply and demand data for AMA.

It will also provide value chain development data to AMA, and provide platform to enable all traders to be registered with the Authority.

In turn, AMA is expected to ensure that it works together with KTA to develop the market linkages, create a platform which KTA can use to provide value chain development to AMA, and ensure that all traders under KTA markets are duly registered.

KTA chief executive Charles Dhewa said such a system would enhance the economic contribution of the agricultural sector.

“Benefits for all the actors will translate to well organised marketing that reveals opportunities within Zimbabwe’s entire food basket comprising more than 100 agricultural commodities.

“The magnitude of agriculture’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) will be shown through real-time evidence,”

he said.

“Markets will also evolve into viable business hubs where not only raw commodities are traded but where value addition and preservation happens.”

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