Seed companies plying their trade under the Seed Trade Association of Malawi (Stam) have assured President Joyce Banda administration of a reliable and sustained supply of certified seed on the market.
Stam business development officer Supply Chisi made the assurance at Chiwamba in Lilongwe on Thursday on the sidelines of the launch of the Feed the Future Initiative by President Banda who also toured Stam pavilions that exhibited a variety of certified seed by its members.
â€œOnly the use of certified seed guarantees food security and the role of Stam is to promote use of certified seed and ensure consistent and reliable supply of certified seed in the country,â€ he said.
Chisi also assured Banda that seed companies will ensure smooth implementation of the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) by warranting timely distribution of certified seed.
Under the Fisp, only improved certified seed producing companies are involved in the supply of seed component of the programme.
The companies involved also take disciplinary measures on seed as well as providing timely update to government on how much seed has been distributed countrywide each week for monitoring purposes of the programme.
Chisi said the association is pleased with recent changes in the implementation of the programme this year, citing the increase in the number of beneficiaries from 1.4 million to 1.5 million people.
He said as a response to the changes, seed companies have increased the packaging of soya from 2 kg to 3 kg and also from 7.5 kg to 8 kg for maize seed.
Chisi pledged that the association will continue to influence and strengthen policies and regulations that guide the seed trade towards sustainability and good reputation to the beneficiaries.
â€œWe will make sure that there is sanity in the seed industry by enabling the availability of certified seed on the market and also producing certified seed that suit different ecological zones responding to climate change,â€ he said.
Stam was formed in 2004 to, among others, combat fake seed and illegal substandard seed multiplication, promote use of improved certified seed to achieve high productivity for food and cash as well as ensuring consistency and reliability in the supply of quality seed to farmers.