Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera has called for a ceasefire to the cat-and-mouse relationship between government and public sector players in the way they conduct their business in order to deliver real value for money to Malawians.
Speaking during the launch of 2021 / 2022 Affordable Inputs Program (AIP) in Chiradzulu on Saturday, Chakwera said:
“Mindset change is of paramount importance now as his administration strives to build a new Malawi. The cat and mouse approach that we currently have is primitive and needs to be replaced by a real partnership that seeks to deliver value for money to Malawians.
“We need to change the relationship between government and the private sector players in the agriculture sector.,” emphasized the president adding;
“We all need to change, because change is what Malawi needs and change is part of the new Malawi we are building. We need to change our institutional attitudes, ensuring that there is coordination between the ministry of agriculture and other ministries like trade and industries that are critical for adding value to crops and identifying markets for them ahead of time.”
Chakwera then advised farmers in the country to practice crop diversity saying not all crops and soil requires fertilizer.
The president also assured farmers in the country that the challenges that dodged the initiative last year have been dealt with.
Speaking earlier, Minister of Agriculture Robin Lowe emphasized that the main aim of AIP is to ensure that Malawians have enough food enough to feed themselves and also have supplementary for sale.
He said his ministry has empowered ADMARC among others, to help sort out distribution hitches that rocked the program last year.
“Network problems have been sorted out and all the companies have voluntarily accepted to partake in the program following all government laid out procedures,” said the minister.
“We have also put special features on the packets of all farm inputs to do away with fake products.”
He advised security agencies in the country to be alert and deal with anyone trying to put spanners in the works of the program.
Chiradzulu Central Member of Parliament Mc Times Malowa was all thanks to the president for maintaining the number of beneficiaries.
“We are happy that the president has maintained the number of beneficiaries because people were worried with reports that the number would be slashed down. We hope for a bumper harvest in the forthcoming farming season,” he said.
In his remarks, Senior Chief Likoswe thanked the president for launching the program in his area.
“It is like I am dreaming that you have come to launch the AIP program today in this area,” said Likoswe in his short speech.
Government last year through the ministry of agriculture introduced the Affordable Input Program (AIP) replacing Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP), where 4.2 million farming households accessed two bags of fertilizer at K4, 495 each with a five kilogram certified seed at K2,000.
This year government has adjusted the price to K7,500 per 50 kg bag.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :