Cama brands Farm Input Subsidy ‘a mess’ 

Consumers association of Malawi (CAMA) has urged the newly elected Tonse Alliance government to disregard Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP), which has replaced Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp),   in its budget, saying it does not benefit the country.

Tonse government says its AIP can help Malawi attain food security

In a statement released, Cama argues that the provision of farm input subsidy to small holder farmers does not help the country to counter food insecurity in any way.

“We are urging the current administration not to copy and paste the very same mistakes and  corrupt practices that were done by the previous administrations.

“We strongly believe that the new administration can do things correctly and differently,” reads a part of the press statement signed by Cama’s executive director,” John Kapito.

Additionally, Cama claims that farm input subsidy program is heavily politicized and it benefits people who are not intended to.

The statement also says that failure of the programme under previous administrations is a clear indication that it can not work for the betterment of the nation.

Kapito has since urged government to channel the funds meant for the farm input to other sectors of the economy such as tourism, saying investing in other sectors will help the country’s economy grow and in return benefit same people targeted by the cheap fertilizer.

But Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe said the AIP can help Malawi attain food security at household and national levels

He said the programme will cover all smallholder farming households in the country estimated at 4.2 million and will increase access to quality and improved farm inputs such as fertilisers and maize seed.

Minister of Finance announced that 3.5 million farmers will benefit from the programme but Lowe said the 4.2 million is the updated number of farming households in the country; hence all will benefit.

He said the ministry plans that by September, farmers should start buying the inputs and that each farming household will access two bags of fertiliser at K4 495 each with a five kilogramme certified seed at K2 000.

Based on the 4.2 million beneficiaries, the ministry plans to procure a total of 213 955 metric tonnes of Urea, 213 955) metric tonnes of NPK and 21 396 metric tonnes of maize seed to be accessed by smallholder farmers.

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BENTBY from MANGOLONGONDO

I already raised this concern. the fisp thing doesn’t work for the betterment of this country. it just install spoon feeding mentality into most of Malawians. for over 25 years govt has been supporting the very same disadvantaged families with free fertilisers but during rainy season the very same families demand hunger relief from govt. and the very same govt spend huge sum of money for maize purchase to feed them. the FISP benefits unintended individuals, ie chiefs and political magnets the FISP depletes National Forex Reserves, and widen our national trade balances deficit. Its my belief that govt start… Read more »

Kanchenga
Kanchenga
8 months ago

Sadly though CAMA could be right. This idea of politicians controlled cheap farm input help is rubbish. It only breeds corruption. Fix ADMARC and let it sell fertiliser universally to all interested farmers. Made fertilizer business a monopoly of ADMARC only. Make it illegal for anyone to sell fertilizer. Fertilizer doesn’t have to be MK5000. MK 8000 or MK10000 would reduce the budgetary burden.

Ghengis Khan
8 months ago

The real problem causing low yield is not fertiliser. We have high population growth, compounded by very small land left for farming, and worse, with very minimal women’s ownership of land. All these factors make it impossible to increase yield from a piece of land. The causation of low agricultural productivity is both obscene population growth and the futility of small holder farming. If we want results, we should subsidise commercial food producers. A smallholder farmer will only produce enough to eat. Even if they sell, they sell what they are supposed to eat and then go hungry and expect… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Ghengis Khan
Tan
Tan
8 months ago

The truth is this program ( subsidy to smallholders) can never help anybody and has always been a political tool which unfortunately drains the economy. Another way to make the program work is to engage NGOs already working in such e.g One acre fund etc. because they train the farmer to ensure he gets the optimal harvest from his land. Since they are already doing this. You could engage them to run in on a National scale together with the ministry of Agriculture. Farmers that do not comply can be struck of the list. Better even you will get accurate… Read more »

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