Mixed Views On FISP Progress in Zomba
There are mixed views on the way Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) is progressing in Zomba district with some farmers complaining of exorbitant prices of the inputs in some markets.
Area Development Committee Chairperson for lower Mlumbe, Redson Suman, told Zodiak Online that almost all the markets in the area were supplied with inputs such as fertilizer on time but said not all people managed to buy the subsidized fertilizer because some had no money and decided to sell their coupons.
Suman, who also said some farmers failed to buy the inputs in nearby markets due to exorbitant prices by some suppliers, said the suspension of the public works program which was helping farmers to find money to buy the subsided fertilizer has also negatively affected farmers.
“We received subsidized fertilizer in all the markets such as Chipini and Masaula on time and people are able buy but there are differences in prices of the subsidized fertilizer. For instance, NPK at Masaula is being sold at K7, 800 per 50 kilogram bag while the same bag is being sold at K6, 500 at Chipini,” said Suman.
Traditional Authority Mkumbira concurred with Suman, adding that some beneficiaries from Chisi Island are required to cover long distances to get the subsidized inputs at Jali or Govala trading centers which are over 15 kilometers from the area.
But Zomba District Agricultural Development Officer, Mr. Isack Allie, has described this year’s delivery and selling of subsidized farm inputs as a success, saying almost all the targeted beneficiaries that received coupons in the district are able to buy the inputs from various markets across the district.
According to the Zomba DADO, the district received 61, 700 coupons that were distributed to deserving beneficiaries.