Farm subsidy program back on track

The Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP)   Deputy National Coordinator, Osbourne Tsoka  has  said  there has been “remarkable progress” in the distribution  of commodities in  this year’s programme with 90 percent of fertiliser distributed to the 1.5 million smallholder farmers.

Fertiliser in the warehouse

Fertiliser in the warehouse

This year’s Fisp was marred with logistical problems which raised fears of a worst distribution season.

But Tsoka told journalists who toured Dowa and Salima Districts, that about 135,829 of 150,000 metric tons of NPK and Urea fertilizer were dispatched to various markets across the country representing 133 846.00 metric tonnes against the 150 000 metric tonnes needed which was not the case last year.

He disclosed that  all the three warehouses of the Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund (SFFRFM)—Luwinga in Mzuzu, Kanengo in Lilongwe and Chirimba in Blantyre—the stocks’ balances report on NPK fertiliser is indicating that over 74 million bags were received with over 70 million distributed. There is a balance of four million bags.

“As you might be aware the FISP programme was launched in October and it has taken us a month to make such a success. As I am talking to you, we are making the very last dispatches and we hope to finish the whole distribution and selling processes by December end,” Tsoka explained.

He however credited the desirable progress to the cooperation that existed between the ministry, the suppliers, transporters and the marketing agencies such as ADMARC and Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM)

“I also have to commend farmers for their cooperation with the marketing officers and for adopting the system of buying by village which has reduced incidences of corruption as only the valid beneficiaries are the ones who were allowed to buy monitored by the chiefs and their subjects.”

SFFRFM Regional Manager for the Central, Patrick Milanzi, said he is sure by the end of this week all fertilizer will be dispatched to the farmers.

Gift Mhone a Madisi based SFFRFM depot sales manager told Nyasa Times there is no chaos this year because of the new policy which allows farmers to buy fertilizer by Group Village Headman where they are coming from.

Malawi government introduced the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) in 2005 to improve national food security and lift the productivity of smallholder farmers after several years of drought brought poor harvests.

The scheme is widely seen as successful in achieving both goals, but expensive.

Meanwhile, Tsoka speaking during a media orientation exercise organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation  and Water Development  onthe implementation of the 204/2015  FISP programme, sid  FISP continues to contribute to drastic increases in maize harvest.

Since its inception, Malawi has not imported maize crop which Tsoka described as a sign of improved food security and social economic development.

“There are success stories that have not been told about the programme and for your information since the inception of the initiative Malawi has not imported any single grain of maize which is a great sign of a food secured nation.

“In addition, this programme has improved livestock at household levels as people produce more than enough food thereby avoiding sale of livestock in exchange for food,” he explained.

This year, 1.5 million farmers are expected to benefit from the fertilizer subsidy programme.

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14 thoughts on “Farm subsidy program back on track”

  1. Nyangabira says:

    Atsoka mubwere mu Thyolomu muzaone muzamva cisoni bola FISP ingotha cifukwa akulemera ndi Mafumu .

  2. Kaligondo says:

    Tsoka, please do your mathematics well. If you give two bags of fertilizer per person. Then 1.5 million people would need just 3 million bags. In this case, are you talking of kilograms of fertilizer? Otherwise the whole story is a lie.

  3. please find out why fert for uzumara has been off loaded at mphompha,which has made people not buy fert up to now but they have planted. my quetion is.has this transporter been paid.if so who signed for the work not done.please make sure the fert has been carried to time.

  4. Wakumudzi says:

    Where is a success when out of 1400 bags at a depot,800 bags are sold to beneficiaries and the rest to vendors?Tikuzionatu mu Thyolomu.

  5. Ayaya says:

    ok. tamvanawo



  7. chatonda says:

    When you say is on course, what do you mean/ when will farmers plant if they get the seeds in January or February?

  8. Fairness says:

    Fertilizer ndi ameneyo koma mvula kulibe. When we boast about bumper yields let’s also acknowledge God’s role in providing the much needed rains without which even if everyone was given free fertilizer you can’t produce anything.

  9. Chabecheker says:

    Did you check if the smallholder farmer has the fertilizer? Large bulk of ferlizeris sold by vendors in markets at a cheaper price than retail eg lunzu market;ndirande;thyol;chigumula;chonde;phalombe;migowi;jali just to name afew

  10. Mauya says:

    Credit should be given where it is due!

  11. Chamwaka says:

    If true and not just political bluff then this is good news. At least lets have food security next year for rural populations.

  12. kanyika dickson says:

    ku zomba mpaka lero alimi sanagule urea,is that success? osanamiza anthu

  13. Myangwe Joe says:

    This is a targeted program where only few people receive the fertiliser where are these figures of 74million bags come from when Malawi population is under 17 million. This would have meant everyone receiving not less than 4 bags. Zonama basi

  14. swiswiri mbewa says:

    This FISP has also succeeded to create a dependence culture among the many smallholder farmers to the extent that if it is discontinued the national food self sufficiency would be compromised. It is also argued through many of the assessment reports that the goal of uplifting smallholder farmers from subsistence level has not been attained since majority of the recipients are the same year in year out. The other ill is that this expensive subsidy program is at the expense of other equally important social services. Experts advise that the nation needs to promote production for export to generate more forex. The forex that the nation earn mainly through tobacco and tea exports is consumed by fertilizers that are distributed almost free to Vulnerable households’. I support universal subsidy other than the targeted one where only few benefit from the national resources. Generally subsidy inputs are abused by local leaders. For our country to sustainably grow its economy the government should promote policies that spur production and not consumption like FISP.

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