Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID) has donated £6.35 million (MK3.3 billion) to the Government of Malawi (GoM) towards the seeds component of the Farm Input Subsidy Programme.
The donation will enable the Government to provide affordable quality maize and legume seeds to 840,000 vulnerable households, out of a total of 1.544million targeted by the programme.
The UK is also helping to strengthen transparency and targeting of the programme through: supporting the Malawi Police Services to intensify monitoring of the FISP; procuring secure coupons with security features; supporting annual independent evaluations; and supporting monitoring of FISP implementation by civil society (the Farmers Union of Malawi).
“We remain committed to supporting the Government of Malawi’s efforts to improve smallholder agricultural productivity and ensure that the country has enough food to feed its population.” says Sarah Sanyahumbi, Head of DFID Malawi.
“We recognise the significant impact the Farm Input Subsidy Programme has had on food security in Malawi,” she said in a statement made available to Nyasa Times.
“The programme has increased maize production by around a third and helped ensure a national surplus of maize each year since its introduction.”
DFID head also said the British aid agency are pleased to note the action taken this year by the Government to further strengthen the transparency of the programme through publicly displaying the beneficiary list, providing posters at markets with relevant information on expected beneficiary contributions, and widely publicising the toll free number for the graft-busting body to help beneficiaries easily report any observed malpractices.
“However we recognise that it is still important to continue to work together with the Government, civil society and the private sector to explore and implement new ways of promoting transparency and increasing the efficiency of FISP in future.”