Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Dr Allan Chiyembekeza on Tuesday admitted that Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) is progressing well despite facing huge challenges.
This claim by Chyembekeza comes hot amid complaints from various stakeholders that the programme has started late.
Addressing journalists on present status of implementation of 2015/16 Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) for the 2015/2016 fiscal year, Chiyembekeza said a total of 21 companies have been awarded contracts to uplift fertiliser for the 2015/2016 FISP.
Some of the companies which have been awarded with contracts to supply fertiliser include; Mulli Brothers, Transglobe, Paramount Holdings, Optichem, Sealand, Farm Chem, Hardware Shoppings, Xelite, KU Distributors, Khrish Trading.
While some of companies awarded to supply seeds include; Peacock Seeds, Demeter, AISAM, Pannar.
Chiyembekeza said, 1.5 Million beneficiaries are being targeted this year while 150,000 Metric Tonnes of fertilizer is being accessed (75,000 Metric Tonnes NPK and 75,000 Metric Tonnes of Urea).
“Over 3,000 Metric Tonnes legume seeds (Soya Bean, Beans, Ground nuts, Cowpeas and Pigeon Peas) are being accessed in 2015/2016 season.” Said Chiyembekeza.
Chiyembekeza said each beneficiary has been issued with coupons to access 50 Kg bag of NPK, 50 Kg bag of Urea, 5 Kg pack of either hybrid or OPV maize seed and 2Kg /3 Kg pack of legume seed.
The Minister highlighted that Farmers are contributing a total of MK9,000 thus: MK3,500 per 50 Kg bag of NPK fertilizer ; MK 3,500 Urea bag; MK1500 for maize seed; and MK500 for a Legume Seed Pack.
Chiyembekeza asked Malawians to report all malpractice in all selling points because the programme has improved the food self-sufficiency of the country since its inception in 2005/06 and “It would be improper for some people to derail the programme.”
Accoridng to the minister, a total of 150,000 MT of fertilizer is being accessed by the farmers with the following arrangements: 38,600 MT is being retailed by the Private Sector under the FISP Reform Pilot 111,400 Metric Tonnes is being retailed by ADMARC and Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund (SFFRM) through the Normal FISP as in the previous seasons..
Chiyembekeza said fertilizer distribution have started in all the three regions of the country.
“The fertilizer uplifts that I have presented do not include the fertilizer that is being retailed in the pilot districts by the private companies. A mechanism has been put in place to track the quantity of fertilizer that is being retailed by the private companies and data will be presented to you shortly.
“Therefore, the fertilizer uplifts are slightly above the indicated figures if the uplifts by the private companies were also included,” said chiyembekeza.
The Minister said that despite the programme starting late due to other logistical problems, Chiyembekeza, assure the nation that the programme is on course and that all the inputs targeted under the Programme will reach the intended beneficiaries in relatively good time and in right quality and quantity.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :