By Steven Godfrey Mkweteza
BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-One of the local agro input companies, Demeter Agriculture Limited, is engaging agro-dealers in the country, sensitizing them them on the newly introduced Affordable Input Program (AIP).
National sales manager for the company, Benson Banda, said the platform is also an opportunity as it is also taken as a feedback mechanism on how the agro dealers view the system and other related technologies associated with it among others.
“We felt it is very important to sensitize the agro-dealers of this program. We did not want to take it for granted that because they are leaned then they are already familiar with the program, ” he said.
He said whenever the system is new, people are on a learning curve hence, constant engagements are vital.
“This is a new system and it is also apparent that there are some areas that need further refinement and clarification, but its here and there,” he said.
Banda encouraged agro dealers to quickly get used to the system of selling seeds under the affordable input program (AIP) so that they serve their customers better ahead of the 2020/21 farming season.
He said since the agro dealers will now be using technology compared to coupon system, which was being used under the farm input subsidiary program ( FISP), they(agro dealers) need to be conversant with the new technology.
Banda also challenged the agro dealers to refrain from the act of duping the smallholder farmers.
“No agro-dealer should found overcharging the customers or tamper with the quality of the seeds,” he said.
However, Banda faulted the government for rushing into implementing the AIP on national level before experimenting it first to see its hitches.
“This is the technology hence most of our agro dealers are not conversant with this. It would be better to pilot this and come up with implementation on national level in 2021/22 season after measuring from this season pilot,” Banda said.
Demeter Agriculture Limited is one of the suppliers of maize under AIP