Amta Introduces New Produce Transport Initiative

Farmers are encouraged to transport their fresh produce to the Agricultural Marketing and Trading Agency(AMTA)’s hubs and outlets on certain conditions according to a new initiative by AMTA.

Farmers Forum wanted to know from how this transportation arrangement will be put into practice? “Ideally, all farmers are required to transport their own fresh produce (in a favourable truck) to the market. However, AMTA steps in, in cases of farmers who may have large volumes of fresh produce and have no means of transporting their produce to the market,” informs she adding that for AMTA to do this in the most economical manner, it aises farmers to ensure that they have the sufficient volume to fill up a specific truck, and alternatively farmers are clustered in a linear production area for ease collection of produce. “In this way, we are encouraging farmers to consolidate the volume in case their produce are few to fill up the needed truck. We then invoice the farmer(s) based on the type of truck used and the distance N$$$$ covered to collect the produce. The tariff per kilometre will vary depending on the capacity of the truck used.”

AMTA plans to procure different trucks with different capacities ranging from 10 to 34 tonners including refrigerated trucks meant to for highly perishables produce stored in optimally controlled temperature. Other trucks are open link trucks meant to transport produce that are not so sensitive to heat or cold. The trucks are not the only vehicles used but pick up vehicles may be used as well

depending on the nature of produce and the distance from the farm to the market, provided that such vehicles have passed the health and safety requirements as provided for by AMTA’s quality and standards department.

How will those producers in need of transportation for their goods be identified? “AMTA has clustered all producers in production units nationwide. Through a template that AMTA has developed, each farmer is recorded in the data sheet, the location where heshe is farming the total area under production distance to the market and whether the farmer has the capacity to transport hisher produce to the market. From the information that the farmer will provide, we are able gather whether that specific farmer will be needing transport to transport the produce or not,” says she.

Regarding the other methods that AMTA’s deploy in assisting producers in taking their goods to the hubs, she notes that it is the responsibility of the farmer to take their produce to the hub. The green scheme projects, for example have their own trucks which they use to transport their produce to the hub. Some farmers use commercial delivery trucks, and all that AMTA can do is referring the farmer to either the green scheme trucks (AGRIBUSDEV) or the commercial delivery trucks in case AMTA cannot reach the farmer for some reasons.

She says AMTA does all transportation at a cost recovery basis. AMTA also makes sure that the transportation exercise is done in the most economical way possible to reduce cost strains on farmers. Costs to farmers will depend on the tariff developed based on the capacity of the truck or pick up. “AMTA’s mandate is to facilitate market and trading of fresh produce. Anything that has to do with production is the activity for Agribusdev, a sister agency for AMTA under MAWF,” she concludes.

Source : New Era