Over 100 MPs Respond to AIP Logistics
Minister of agriculture, Sam Kawale, says they are receiving overwhelming response from parliamentarians to help in dispatching Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) fertiliser from the warehouses to the beneficiaries.
Without being exact, Kawale told Zodiak Online on Thursday that over 100 members of parliament (MPs) are sending more than one vehicle on daily basis to register in the pool of transporters and load the commodity to the farmers' mobile selling points.
"Many parliamentarians have responded to our call for them to help with transportation of the inputs. So now the number of MPs is over 100," he said.
As a measure to fast-track this year's Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) government through the Ministry of agriculture urged the parliamentarians to help with vehicles to dispatch fertiliser to their areas.
Kawale has however, clarified that the law makers are only asked to find the transporters and it is the Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM) that meets all the costs.
"I just want to clarify, when we asked the MPs to help we did not mean they would use their own resources, but just to find vehicles. It is government which is paying all the costs", he clarified.
Thyolo South Member of Parliament, Mavuto Sandram Scott, says they are faced with unavailability of the commodity at Chirimba warehouse in Blantyre.
Scott has expressed worry that only few beneficiaries have redeemed the fertiliser in Traditional Authority Thukuta, Nsabwe, Mbawera and he expects hunger next year.
"Most of the MPs have come in to support, but it is a very big challenge because we don't have enough fertiliser in the SFFRFM warehouse. If the government will not come in very quickly to make sure that fertiliser is supplied to the beneficiaries, we will face a very big hunger," he worried.
Recently, District governor for UTM party in Thyolo, Charles George also refreshed government's call for the district's MPs to come in since many areas like Khonjeni, Thekerani and Thomas were yet to access the inputs at a time maize crop is over-grown.