The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in Malawi has been advised to start planning for the Fertilizer Input Subsidy (FISP) programme regardless of the fact that there is some political impulse, otherwise any further delays will choke Malawi’s economy since the country also relies on agriculture.
Civil Society Agriculture Network (Cisanet) National Director Tamani Nkhono-Mvula saidon Wednesday that the agriculture ministry should not dance to the tune of the delay in forming next government that has come about due to the derailed electoral process but rather designing programmes of FISP.
“The delays in instituting a government may hold-up in passing the National Budget thereby delaying in procurement and distribution of fertiliser and seed under the FISP programme,”Tamani Nkhono observed, adding for the past seven years Malawi has been having surplus production due to FISP which is totally dependent on the national budget.
“We call upon the Ministry of Agriculture to start planning and designing a makeshift subsidy programme even in the absence of political leadership,” the National Director said.
The CISANET National Director however pointed out that the organisation is aware of the challenges and the dilemma the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry is in due to the fact that the different political parties have different views on the subsidy.
Tamani-Mvula disclosed that the challenge that the implementers has is that the four major political parties view the programme differently, as some are talking about universal subsidy while others are talking about continuing with the current form of the subsidy
“However our request is that the Ministry should design the programme based on the current set-up of the FISP because if we wait for the current political squabbles to be over to decide whether to go universal or not, it may be too late,” he reasoned, adding that any delays in implementing the programme will lead to low productivity and increase the possibility of a hunger crisis.
Malawians are expecting results of the May 20 elections.