A fresh call has gone out to the authorities to fast–track the implementation of this year’s Affordable Farm Input Program.
The call from the Farmers Union of Malawi-FUM comes as farmers are yet to start accessing farm inputs under the subsidy program which was launched by President Lazarus Chakwera weeks ago.
The appeal also follows predictions from the department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services that the country is from next week expected to start receiving rains.
However, speaking to MIJ Online, Frighton Njolomole president for FUM said it is sad to note that government is yet to start making the affordable farm inputs available to the farmers.
Earlier last week, the Agriculture Committee of Parliament faulted government for going ahead to launch the program before the preparations were concluded.
The Committee further accused the ministry of Agriculture for lying to Malawians that the country has 87% of the fertilizer required for the program when there is no such fertilizer.
This was said during a meeting the committee had with the ministry of Agriculture officials at Parliament on Tuesday.
Speaking to MIJ Online, Sameer Suleman Chairperson of the Committee questioned where the 127 000 Metric tons of fertilizer which is being mentioned by the ministry of Agriculture came from and has since demanded ACB to investigate the processes.
The Committee further recommended that smallholder fertilizer revolving fund of Malawi – SFFRFM does not supply fertilizer again saying government is using it as a scapegoat in the fertilizer deals.
But Erica Maganga Principal secretary in the ministry of Agriculture said the right processes are being followed for beneficiaries to have the fertilizer.
This year’s programme is designed to benefit 3.7 million farming households who will be expected to cough K7, 500 for a 50 kilogramme (kg) bag, up from the initial K4, 495 implemented last year.