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.
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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :