2021 AIP Program Rolls Out
The Ministry of Agriculture says most beneficiaries of the Affordable Inputs Program will start accessing farm inputs this week.
This comes as the 2021| 2022 rainy season is about to commence, while farmers in most parts of the country are yet to start buying the farm inputs.
Ministry of Agriculture Spokesperson, Grecian Lungu said in an interview that the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation - ADMARC and Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi - SFFRFM are major players that are already on the ground.
According to Lungu, the delay to fully roll out the exercise is due to final preparations especially on records of beneficiaries.
He said as of Saturday, all beneficiary registers were ready except for Dowa district.
However, Lungu said 16 suppliers are yet to sign contracts to supply about 50 000 metric tons of fertilizer.
He indicated that the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation ADMARC and SFFRFM shall take over, should the said suppliers, abandon the contracts.
“They are yet to submit or collect their contract forms. These companies are holding about 50 000 metric tons of fertilizer. We can just use ADMARC and SFFRFM to supply,” said Lungu.
Over 30 000 metric tons of fertilizer are ready for sale under AIP in some ADMARC and SFFRFM markets, according to the Ministry of Agriculture Spokesperson.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Commentator, Tamani Nkhono Mvula, has cautioned that delays to start selling farm inputs may lead to a repeat of challenges that affect the program.
“What kind of lessons are we learning from the mistakes we made in the past? For AIP we had time to plan but it seems we are going to experience the same challenges we had last year”. Said Nkhono Mvula.
The implementation of this year’s AIP was launched last month by President Lazarus Chakwera.