Blantyre Agricultural Development Division (ADD) has urged the country’s agro-dealers to continue working with government in the management of the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp), saying this is the only way to achieve the betterment of rural farmers.
Deputy programme manager Aggrey Kamanga said this on Friday during the launch of the Southern Region Agro-dealers Association in Blantyre. He said farmers in rural areas face hustles in acquiring quality farm inputs due to transport challenges because most areas are far from main roads or towns where they could access Fisp.
“Our worry is that there are times when farmers are sold fake chemicals by some dishonest vendors which is a big problem. These farmers do not get standard products, but you the agro-dealers must fill the gap and give them the best chemicals,” said Kamanga.
The association’s acting president Samuel Mkwate said the grouping would be the mouthpiece for agro-dealers in the country so that they speak with one voice and be protected by government.
“Our main concern is that we sometimes receive expired, substandard and fake chemicals and seeds which we import and when we sell, we do not get our pay on time and this is hectic. With this association, we will ensure that all the agro-dealers give farmers the best services and sell the certified chemicals that are not harmful to people.
“The aim of the association is to spearhead a green revolution in Malawi, eradicate hunger, promote produce exports and empower farmers,” said Mkwate.
He said time to import chemicals is over, but now people must use the locally available products to support the ‘Buy Malawi Campaign’, saying some of the imported chemicals were dangerous to human beings.