4 February, 2023

AIP seeds supply playfield not levelled –Seed traders

Players in the seed industry are expressing concern over the rising threat of unfair advantage which some suppliers have in this year’s Affordable Input Program -AIP.

The Seed Traders Association of Malawi –STAM is blaming authorities’ poor planning and late decision making which is limiting the benefits of the program.

In a statement, the Seed Traders Association of Malawi STAM said the full benefits of such an important program are not fully realized.

It points out unfair practices that give other suppliers undue advantage as others have been recording sales since the launch of the program.

This is viewed as unfair because there is no basis for such sales to take place as no seed supplier had signed a contract to deliver seed on AIP as of 25th November –according to the association.

It has since expressed surprise as to how the system allowed for the redemption of seed for some suppliers as well as how government plans to legally pay for such transactions.

The association also expressed concern the delays experienced in the commencement of the program with authorities yet to award contracts for seed suppliers.

However, Ministry Agriculture Spokesperson Geoffrey Mjuda Banda says government is waiting for approval from the public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority to select companies that will supply maize seed for the program.

Earlier, Agriculture minister Sam Kawale assured the public that government will make sure the beneficiaries of AIP access the inputs as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, government is said to have developed an exit strategy –a plan which will see the country quitting AIP in five years as agreed in the International Monetary Fund –IMF’s program.

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