Madisi (Simbi) Community Sensitization

Ace is running a warehouse receipt project funded by Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) in partnership with European Union (EU). Following a meeting held in February 2012, ACE organized a half day community sensitization in Msimbi 70 KM north of Lilongwe. The Session attracted a total of 15 Men and 3 Women from Msimbi association clubs which has 350 members divided into 35 clubs. These included the club chairman, secretary, village headmen and local farmers. At the moment, most farmers in Malawi do not benefit much from their yields because they sell at low price just after harvest. This is due to poverty and ignorance, therefore, ACE has stepped in to help alleviate this.

The objective was to sensitize the community on the benefits of the warehouse system. ACE decided to help these farmers by enabling access loan up to 70% of their grain value after they deposit their grain in third party insured warehouses in order to meet their immediate cash needs. In this scenario, the warehouse does not release collateral unless the loan has been settled. Using this principle, a farmer is able to sell at the right time when the prices are high which leads to high income for a farmer and improved quality of life.

The community had complained about lack of markets for their commodities and lack of marketing price information. ACE, therefore, assured farmers that it links local farmers to better markets and it also sends information to them using sms alerts about prices in different markets .The sensitization also dwelled on the fact that Ace also has the Bidding system where a buyer bids to buy a commodity with special terms and volume and potential suppliers make offers online or a trading event hosted by ACE. This brought excitement to the participants and they gave assurance that they will start using Ace.

The outcome of the Meeting 

The chiefs agreed to meet with the rest of the community using clubs on Saturday 23rd June, 2012 to share the news.

Ace trading agent for the area agreed to meet the farmers whenever they need any information or when they want to sell their commodities using Ace.

Looking Forward

Frequent community sensitization would be required to check on the progress.