The Minister of Agriculture has admitted disparities in the distribution of coupons under Fertilizer Subsidy Programme with some districts not yet supplied with the vouchers.
Minister, Professor Peter Mwanza made admission in Parliament on Tuesday morning after a being quizzed by the Parliamentarians on the irregularities marring this year’s subsidy programme.
The lawmakers wondered why some districts have not yet been supplied with the coupons despite being in rain season while noting that most affected districts are in the southern region.
“I am not denying that the distribution of coupons has not yet started in some districts,” said Mwanza.
“The problem we have is that there is a delay in the delivery of consignment of coupons. We are expecting the coupons which are being printed in UK this week. And we will ensure that all districts get a share,” the Minister explained.
Mwanza assured the House that he will provide detailed report on the progress on coupon distribution and the whole subsidy programme on Monday afternoon to the Parliament.
This year’s subsidy programme has been rocked with several irregularities from trimming of number of beneficiaries in some districts, some fertiliser bags being mixed with sand in Mangochi and some traders being nabbed for selling the subsidised fertiliser on the black market.
Fertiliser procurement takes the major allocation of the Ministry of Agriculture budget with K40.6 billion (about $135 million) this year allocated for the purchase of 150 000 metric tonnes, comprising 75 000 tonnes of Urea and 75 000 tonnes of NPK fertilisers to be distributed to 1.5 million farming families at a price of K500 per bag.