African Institute of Corporate Citizenship (Aicc) says Malawi has the potential to boost food and economic stability if agrodealers are equipped with agricultural production technology skills.
Aicc head of programmes Leonard Chimwaza made the observation on Tuesday in Zomba during the documentation of the organisation’s three-year Agribusiness Acceleration Initiative (AAI) Project which has since phased out.
The project targeted 200 agrodealers who were trained in record keeping, human, financial and business management skills as well as networking with seed and chemical companies.
Chimwaza said the project also facilitated the establishment of agro-dealers cooperatives to maximise production and sales.
He said: “The empowerment of the agrodealers has helped farmers to have access to farm inputs easily. For example, the 200 agrodealers that were targeted have on their own created 520 outlets in hard-to-reach areas.
“This means farmers were able to get certified farm inputs at nearby places.”
One of the agrodealers, Novahiwa Traders,said the initiative has equipped the business with various skills, critical to its growth.
“Even record-keeping skills are so helpful in tracking the business whether it is making profit or loss and it’s important in planning ahead,” said the firms’smanager Felistus Magada
On his part, EdfaAgrodealer managing director Keston Nzeka said“previously, the shop had problems with access to seed and chemical companies, but now it has created linkages with the companies”.
The initiative was implemented in Zomba, Rumphi, Mzimba, Kasungu, Dedza, Blantyre and Chikwawa districts.