Chakwera says Govt. re – designing AIP implementation to counter challenges

Malawi President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera says his administration is re – designing the implementation of the Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) to make it more targeted and efficient in the upcoming fiscal year.
During the 2022 / 2023 planting season, AIP implementation has faced administrative challenges with the majority of farmers having difficulties in accessing the subsidized farm inputs.
In his State of the Nation (SONA) address at the opening of the 1st meeting of the 50th Session of Parliament and the 2023 /2024 budget meeting in Lilongwe on Friday, 17 February 2023, Chakwera explained that it has become evident that the programme faces a number of challenges, including ineffective targeting of beneficiaries, high cost of farm inputs and delayed procurement.
He said the new design is necessary because despite the impact the programme has had on ensuring food security for millions, the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) 2022 annual assessment estimated that over 3.8 million people in over 845,000 households may still not meet their food requirement during the 2022 / 23 consumption period, representing about 20 percent of the population who require humanitarian assistance for the 2022 / 23 lean season.
“As such, to address these challenges, the programme is undergoing reforms to enhance its impact which will be effected in the new fiscal year,” added the president.
In order to cushion those that are in need humanitarian assistance, the Malawi leader said his administration is implementing the 2022 / 23 Lean Season Food Insecurity Response Programme in collaboration with the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) and humanitarian partners to provide food assistance through two modalities namely cash transfers and in – kind relief maize distribution since November last year.
“My Administration has released over 62,000 Metric Tonnes of maize for distribution. Meanwhile, the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) has already drawn 55,000 Metric Tonnes, out of which 30,000 Metric Tonnes of maize has already been distributed to food insecure households nationwide,” he said.
Furthermore, says the president, government has also provided funds amounting to 9 billion Kwacha, out of which 7 billion Kwacha has been used for cash transfers and supporting logistics for maize distribution while 2 billion Kwacha has been used for emergency disaster response.
On this point, Chakwera revealed that government in collaboration with KFW, World Bank, European Union, World Food Programme, UNICEF, Irish Aid, Save the Children and the Malawi Red Cross has mobilized about 41 billion Kwacha for the implementation of cash transfers to targeted beneficiary households up to the end of the consumption season which will target food – insecure households in twenty-six districts.
“These are not mere claims, but actions we are taking on the ground to ensure that no Malawian is food insecure. Should you have any doubts, you can ask the honourable members of this house, including those from the opposition benches, and because they are honest, they will tell you themselves of these things that we are doing in Thyolo, Chiradzulu, Mulanje, Blantyre, Nsanje, Chikwawa, Mzimba, Mzuzu, Zomba, Lilongwe, Machinga, and Mangochi,” he said.

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