By Lucy Gondwe

Agricultural Commodity Exchange for Africa (ACE) still believes that market information is vital if farmers are to realize better deals from their hard earned commodities. It is in pursuant of this idea that on 2nd February, 2013 ACE launched its first Market Information Point (MIP) in Mchinji district amongst the several strategic areas that have been earmarked to provide this service.

The project is being implemented with support from USAID. Present during the launch was the Deputy Team leader for USAID John Edgar, Bagie Sherchand who is Chief of Party for Feed the future Integrating Nutrition and value chains (INVC) project, ACE officials and farmers. John Edgar assured that through this facility, small holder farmers from Mchinji, who could not afford internet services on their own, will now be able to access ACEs services that other farmers have been benefiting from in the past seasons.




 Burco Investments MIP site in Mchinji


IMG_0893             ACE Trade agent for Mchinji Mr Damiano Zilore explaining to the audience                                           

Through this online platform farmers will be able to follow the markets across the country a move which will assist them in price identification of their commodities at any particular time of the season. Warehouse receipt holders will also be able to follow the details on their receipts in terms of volume deposited and the charges accumulated to that date. The farmers will also be able to participate in the Bid Volume Only (BVO) trade session which gives the flexibility to commodity owners to adjust the price and volume offered depending on the flow of prices during the trading session.  ACE also briefed other interested participants on how they could use the MIP to trade on ACE.

Speaking on the day, the Mr. Edgar applauded the efforts ACE is making in bringing its services closer to the farmers and advised them to follow closely on the feedback that will be observed so that the service is improved to serve the farmers.

Meanwhile ACE is expected to launch five more MIP across the country once the feasibility studies have been finalized.