The country’s Seed Traders Association of Malawi (STAM) on Tuesday told the nation that its members are ready for this year’s Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP).
The association assured farmers of provision of quality seeds for bumper harvest in the next growing season.
STAM told the news conference in the capital Lilongwe that farmers are advised to buy seeds through authorized agro-dealers only .
This according to the association will address concerns of being duped by unscrupulous traders who sell fake seeds that lead to miserable crop yields.
STAM added that the is enough high quality certified maize seeds of about 18 324 metric tonnes and 6 052 metric tonnes of legumes in the country through authorized agro-dealers.
STAM chairperson John Lungu acknowledged the proliferation of fake seeds at the start of every farming season, a situation they said is affecting many farmers’ crop yields.
Lungu observed that fake seeds could literally be whole farm grains, painted and well packaged as if produced by registered and authorized seed companies.
“These seeds are more than enough for the commercial market and FISP. So, no farmer should worry about certified high quality seeds,”
“We urge farmers to buy seeds only at registered and authorized agro-dealers. They should ask for the agro-dealer’s license and their contract with a company which is supplying them the seeds,” Lungu advised.
STAM’s secretary general Nessimu Nyama chipped in saying the association in collaboration with the government’s Seed Service Unit and the police will keep on conducting routine market monitoring to check and flush out fake seeds.
Unscrupulous vendors, sometimes, mix these fake seeds with a small portion of the certified seed varieties in their quest to rob the unsuspecting poor farmers.
STAM, with a membership of 27 seed companies in Malawi, encourages its member companies to reach out to as many farmers as possible with high quality certified seeds.