PELUM Asks for Government's Second Thought on AIP
The Participatory Ecological Land Use of Malawi (PELUM) has asked government to take a second thought on Affordable Inputs Program (AIP), saying it may not work the next growing season with the increased fertilizer prices.
PELUM Board Chairperson, Pieter Nthenda, says it is high time government dumped the political tool and invest more on land resource conservation than inorganic fertilizers.
"AIP is short term and is a flop especially this coming growing season in which fertilizer prices are still on the increase.
"We cannot control prices for inorganic fertilizers as all of them are imported, the only reason we need to shift fully to land resource conservation," said Nthenda in Lilongwe on Thursday where PELUM members were brainstorming on ways to assist farmers.
Nthenda asked farmers to fully adopt manure use though may seem long term as compared to inorganic fertilizers saying time is coming when farmers will still fail to buy the inorganic fertilizers due to higher prices.
Coalition of Women Farmers President, Ellen Matupi, said farmers are at crossroads this coming growing season as they cannot afford to buy inorganic fertilizers with the current market prices, while on the other hand many have no livestock for organic manure.
"We need government's intervention like universal fertilizer subsidy so that everyone can afford to buy, otherwise many households will be food insecure hence not all farmers can manage to shift to manure due to lack of livestock," said Matupi.
PELUM National Coordinator, Nozgenji Bilima, says they will continue lobbying for more attention towards land conservation so that in the long term, the soils retain fertility thereby reducing reliance on inorganic fertilizers.
PELUM is a consortium of several organizations and farmers with interest in ecological land use.