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Govt Called to Open More AIP Selling Points in Thyolo

Senior chief Kapichi of Thyolo has asked the government to open more Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) selling points as his beneficiaries including others from Mulanje are thronging the only Luchenza selling point.

The chief fears if this continues, many people will not afford to buy the commodity due to long distances.

"I wish government had opened some more selling points in my area. It is only Luchenza where everyone here relies on including others from Mulanje. If the status quo remains, many would not be able to buy the inputs because it is not easy", Senior Chief Kapichi worried.

Some AIP beneficiaries Fackson Mukhori and Wonderford Gomani, from Khonjeni and Maida in the area of Senior chief Kapichi have told Zodiak Online on Thursday that they are taking almost three days to buy the inputs at Luchenza selling point due to congestion.

They also said that they are forced to spend more than K5, 000 for transport due to long distances.

However, Ministry of Agriculture Principal Secretary, Medrina Mloza Banda, says they have already started implementing the mobile vending during the weekends especially from hard to reach areas like Khonjeni, Khave in Thyolo, Lupachi in Nkhotakota to shortening the distance between points.

In a written response Banda added: "Efforts of the Ministry to introduce mobile retailing aim at promoting access to improved seed through shortening the distance to be travelled by the beneficiary. In this respect various areas will be identified as sites for mobile retailing."

In the same vein, the beneficiaries say currently it is only NPK fertiliser which is available at Luchenza selling point.

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