Perspective of AMTA’s strategic business

By Confidente reporter

AGRO-Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA) has developed an Integrated Strategic Business Plan (ISBP) which will be used as a road map towards the AMTA commercialisation agenda.

In an interview with Confidente this week, AMTA’s senior manager of marketing and business development Alfeus Siyamba highlights some of the company’s strategies and challenges.

CR: Please give us a summary of what AMTA’s mandate is and the role it plays towards agricultural sustainability?

AS: AMTA manages the National Fresh Produce Business Hubs and National Strategic Food Reserves through rendering of commercial goods and services aimed at contributing to market accessibility for local products and food security, food self-reliance and trade that can reduce dependency on imports.

CR: What are some of the challenges AMTA is facing in achieving its mandate?

AS: Inconsistent supply of products especially from small holder farmers, limited synergies on the value and supply chains amongst the stakeholders (OMAS). Fresh produce price increment as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

CR: How has Covid-19 impacted the operations of AMTA in the past eight months?

AS: Covid-19 has to some extent positively impacted the operations of AMTA through the means of essential service provision, which improved the traffic flow to fresh produce hubs and the pandemic has sparked awareness amongst potential clients.

CR: What is the status of the fresh produce hubs and are there any innovations to improve their effectiveness?

AS: All the AMTA hubs are operational and product diversification and value addition are part and parcel of the integrated strategic business plan to drive increased business activities at the hubs.

CR: AMTA is in the process of transitioning into a Commercial Public Enterprise. What does the transition entail in terms of the role, services, and products AMTA offers to the public?

AS: AMTA will move from only rendering services to a hybrid model of rendering products and services on a commercial basis. The product and service offering will be of a diverse scope and direct trading.

CR: What will the new AMTA look like compared to the one we currently know?

AS: The new AMTA will have diverse products ranging from raw, semi processed and finished goods as well as diverse partnerships in service provision.

CR: What brought or triggered the transition and why is it important?

AS: Sustainability is one of the most critical factors for any organisations economy of scale and AMTA is fully dependant on government subsidization for the sole purpose of rendering services to mainly local farmers. As a result of government reorganizing its Enterprises, it was deemed necessary for AMTA to be commercialised towards sustainability.

CR: When is the process of converting AMTA into a Public Enterprise expected to be complete?

AS: The process is spearheaded by the Ministry of Public Enterprise hence government will pronounce herself once the process is completed.

CR: Is there anything else you would like to add? Please do.

AS: AMTA developed an integrated strategic business plan (ISBP) which will be used as a road map towards the AMTA commercialisation agenda.