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The marketing season for the 2016/2017 growing season is finally here. From all perspectives, things have already started to take shape on the market with various traders flocking to rural areas to buy various commodities from smallholder farmers. With levels of poverty so high among many smallholder farmers, coupled by high illiterate levels, most farmers have been tempted to sale their commodities when they have not fully dried up to the correct moisture. This is done perhaps with the hopes of making hay while the sun shine and possibly address some of the challenges they meet in their day to day life. However, when all is said and done, one thing that remains critical to almost all stakeholders especially farmers, is usually prices. While farmers are excited with the good produce they have realised due to the good rains experienced this growing season, a major concern of many farmers is on prices, as such seasons are usually characterized by low prices of commodities.

As one way of ensuring that fair trade prevails this season, the African Institute of Corporate Citizenship (AICC) through its Market Access Programme, has been organizing business to business meetings across the regions in Malawi with an aim of fostering partnerships and trust among all players in the agricultural value chain. The meeting in central region, that took place at cross roads hotel in Lilongwe, saw various players from both the private and public sector patronizing the event. 10 companies and 61 farmers from various associations and cooperatives in Lilongwe, Dowa and Ntchisi attended the event in Lilongwe.

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Opportunity arose for Young Innovative Farmers (YIF)in Lilongwe to engage various service providers, when the African Institute of Corporate Citizenship (AICC) organized a business  to business meeting for young innovative and service providers at BICC in Lilongwe.

The meeting which was facilitated in order to give a platforms to both parties to collaborate and discussion issues affecting them saw a number of young farmers from various location converging at one place in order to engage the service providers with hopes of string good deals with them.

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After a year of comprehensive training with rice farmers in various districts, Farm Business Schools (FBS) operating in Karonga and Nkhatabay districts under the Rice platform of AICC finally graduated 58 farmers who had undergone farm business management training.

In a bid to impart an entrepreneurial mindset among rice farmers in various district that AICC under the rice platform is working on, the institutions introduced Farm Business schools training in farm business management as a way of equipping rice farmers with business skills for their agriculture businesses.

The trainings that are coordinated by AICC rice platform and highly facilitated by Agriculture Extension Development Officers (AEDO's) of various EPA's train farmers of various approaches in farming business starting from pre-season period to season and post season period.

Among many aspects, farmers are trained on how they can plan for their farming business each year, by calculating and planning how much they want to produce, how much it would cost them and their terminal benefit at the end of the season before hand. This highly help farmers to plan on how they can source their inputs as well as evaluate the viability of their farming business. Furthermore, planning also gives farmers an insight on risks associated with businesses hence giving them an opportunity to plan for such circumstance.

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© 2016 Charlie Maere and Dennis Lupenga Designs


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

Phone: +265 310 001 396 (Administration)

+265 310 001 394/395 (Technical Staff)



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