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AICC INTESIFIES COLLECTIVE MARKETING IN DEMERA EPA

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For many years, smallholder farmers in Demera EPA Lilongwe were used to selling their produce individually and to unreliable markets. However, the introduction of SALF programme by the African Institute of Corporate Citizenship in the area has changed the practice. Through the SALF programme, AICC has been involved in offering trainings and capacity building to farmers on market access and entrepreneurial skills with an aim of ensuring that smallholder farmers in the area, start to regard farming other than a mere survival activity.

AICC whose main role in the SALF programme is to ensure that there is an increase in market and acquisition of entrepreneurial skills among smallholder farmers in the area has been facilitating various market linkages as well as promoting collective marketing and marketing negotiating skills. 
The acquisition of skills in searching and negotiating for good market prices and aggregations of produce has evidently led to a number of success stories of collective marketing in the area. Demera EPA lead farmers Chairlady, Alaika Kachenje, is one of the many farmers whose living to enjoy the fruits of collective marketing. Kachenje narrated that ever since she decided to join the collective marketing group she has lived to enjoy the group and does not regret her decision. She indicated that through collective marketing she is now realising more than what she used to
in negotiating for the prices. Farmers are also not getting tricked in this production year by use of dubious scales that are found in informal markets.

“Through collective marketing we have managed to penetrate the formal market easily and we have more negotiating powers on the market. Previously we used to give in easily to any price as we didn’t have a choice of another market but now that we have the marketing searching skills we decide where we want to sell our products. On top of that, our earnings have increased a lot and we no longer face any tricks on the market especially on the use of fake scales by buyers’ articulated Kachenje.

During the 2016 marketing period,  Demera EPA  established 3 aggregation centres in Kabudula, Kasiya and Mbalame areas where farmers participating in SALF programme managed to sell 30 tonnes of soya to Gaffar and Atupele investments, realising a total of MK9, 600,000.00. This has made many farmers in the areas to seriously regard farming as a business in the coming season since they have been satisfied with prices offered and weighing scales used during the collective selling of their produce. 

GOVERNMENT PRIVATE SECTOR MEET OVER FISP

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As efforts to intensify the delivery of the FISP programme across the country continue, government has indicated that it is contemplating on up-scaling the private sector involvement in the implementation of 2016/17 FISP programme after a successful pilot study last year. This was revealed at a conference organized by the African Institute of corporate Citizenship (AICC) that aimed at discussing the future prospects of the FISP in Malawi.



Speaking during the conference, the Chief Director in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Brighton Kumwembe indicated that government has decided to upscale private sector involvement in FISP implementation as one way of improving service delivery of the programme. Kumwembe  said government recognize that there are several challenges FISP programme was facing in the past that can be dealt with if the private sector was fully engaged.

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AICC CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO SCREEN INVESTORS

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The African Institute of Corporate Citizenship (AICC) Chief Executive officer Dr. Felix Lombe has urged government to critically scrutinize potential investors in the country before making any commitment for the country to fully benefit from the several investments foreign individuals or companies are making in the country. Lombe made the appeal at Bingu International Conference Center (BICC) in Lilongwe during the official launch of 6 corporate citizenship manuals AICC developed.

Speaking during his brief presentation on the publications, Lombe noted that, despite several investments Malawi has witnessed over the years, the country is yet to benefit from such investments as evidenced by poor returns the country continue to get from big investments made by foreign companies or individuals. Lombe further argued on the need to have permanent and responsible investors, who will have the social impact of their business at heart as opposed to tourist investors who do not care about the social impacts of their businesses.

“As a country, there is a need to be cautious of individuals or companies making any type of investments in this country. As much as we need more investors in country, we need to settle for investors that care about the social impacts of their business as well as businesses that add value to the development of the country as opposed to tourist investors that are only concerned about their profits than the development of this country” said Lombe.

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African Institute of Corporate Citizenship,
Area 47/5/394
Off Bwanje Road,
Private Bag 382,
Lilongwe 3,
Malawi

Phone: +265 1 176 055/60

Email: aicc@aiccafrica.org, communications@aiccafrica.org

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