Opposition in Malawi are forecasting another economic turbulent year following the government messy handling of farm input programme, saying Malawians should expect severe food shortages that will push inflation up.
However, Finance minister Goodall Gondwe says the government expects a 3 percent economic growth buoyed mainly by bumper yield unless El Nino shatters the dream down.
Chairman of Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee Felix Jumbe said this year the farm input programme has faced more problems than ever before.
“This year, Malawians should expect more hunger. There are so many problems on the ground,” said Jumbe.
The Salima central legislator who is also a powerful member of the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) says Malawi should expect another slow down in the economy as food prices will be pushed up.
“These are man made problems, we want to change things last minute when we do not have the capacity,” said Jumbe, accusing the government of reducing the number of beneficiaries from around 5000 to around 2000, data for the beneficiaries taken from Capital Hill.
But Finance minister Gondwe with good rains without floods or drought, Malawi economy should grow steadily next year.
Coupled with the resumption of donor aid, Gondwe is on track back to its old glory.
Minister of Agriculture Allan Chiyembekeza told journalists in Lilongwe this week that the government has given two fertilizer companies, suppliers of the commodity to the subsistence farmers, have been given until Wednesday afternoon to supply the fertlizer to the people or government would delist them.
He said this after reports that some areas have not yet received fertilizer despite the onset of the rains.
“We sourced out the supply of the fertlizer to some private companies but like they have problems yet we are running late, we want the fertlizer delivered,” he said.
Chiyembekeza said if the two companies fail to deliver by 5pm on Wednesday, an alternative would be found.
He also announced that the 1800 people who received the farm inputs this year will be left out next as a new group of 1800 will be identified from the list of 4800 of farmers then after next year the government will identify another group of farmers from the same farmers, a move agricultural experts view as an exit plan of the programme.
Chiyembekeza confirmed opposition worries that not all the needy received the farm inputs, conceding that civil servants with pieces of land were deliberately given the farm inputs to boost food production in the country. ‘Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :