Agro dealers, suppliers undergo farm training

SEVERAL agro dealers and suppliers of agricultural inputs under the farmer input support programme (FISP) have been trained in various skills in readiness for the 2016/17 farming seasons.
The dealers and suppliers that underwent trainings are from Kapiri, Serenje, Zimba, Kalomo, Choma, Pemba, Monze, Mazabuka and Chikankata.
This is contained in the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) Friday brief availed to the Daily Mail yesterday that the training which is being facilitated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Musika and ZNFU includes marketing and adherence to quality of standards and handling point-of-sales (PoS) terminals.
“The training is aimed at equipping participants on a number of issues such as use of PoS machines, marketing, transportation of inputs to farmer groups, and adherence to quality standards among other issues,” the union says.
ZNFU also says the initiative also aims at sharing information on the operations of the FISP e-voucher and the need for agro-dealers to adhere to the code of conduct as they serve farmers who will benefit from the programme.
Officials from Ministry of Agriculture, however, warned input suppliers against collecting e-voucher cards from farmers as the ministry will prosecute anyone found wanting.
Meanwhile, the participating input suppliers urged Government to draw lessons from last year’s challenges and perfect implementation of the scheme this year.
Commenting on the development, Southern Province acting provincial agriculture coordinator Evans Nkhoma urged the agro-dealers to prepare themselves adequately by stocking their shops with a variety of necessary agricultural inputs so that farmers can easily access them.
Mr Nkhoma said agro-dealers should be honest in their business.

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