Cheap fertilizer woes deeper, Nankhumwa saddened by Malawi farmers’ suffering

Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa has expressed serious concern with regards to appalling problems that smallholder farmers across the country are facing to access and buy cheap fertilizer and seeds under the government’s Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) —the successor programme for the Farm Input Subsidy.

Nankhumwa said he was saddened by what he witnessed, the unimaginable levels of suffering that the farmers, especially women, are going through to access and buy the cheap fertilizers
Nankhumwa: Tonse Alliance  pledged  that Malawians will now be able to afford three meals a day. I am afraid that at the rate we’re going, in as far as the cheap fertilizer scheme is concerned, we may end up having no meal at all
Nankhumwa said he had discovered that the mess is much deeper than he thought
Nankhumwa visited several outlets at Thyolo Boma, including Export Trading and Worldwide shops

Subsistence farmers have been sleeping outside retail fertilizer stores nights on end to access the cheap fertilizer without getting the same because of what authorities say are communication and networking problems.

When he visited several outlets at Thyolo Boma, including Export Trading and Worldwide shops to appreciate the challenges first-hand, Nankhumwa said he was saddened by what he witnessed, the unimaginable levels of suffering that the farmers, especially women, are going through to access and buy the cheap fertilizers.

He blasted the Tonse alliance led government for failing Malawians on the AIP that, he said, has seen poor Malawians sleeping at Admarc depots for many days without accessing the commodities.

Media reports indicate that close to one million poor Malawians will not access AIP due to technical hitches as disclosed by the Minister of Agriculture, Lobin Lowe.

After extensive discussions with the traders and some farmers, Nankhumwa said he had discovered that the mess is much deeper than he thought, demanding that government gives this matter the immediate attention it deserves.

He told the seemingly annoyed farmers that he is aware that government is attempting to rectify the challenges but observed time was the farmers’ worst enemy.

“They (government) better do it quickly because we should not allow this mess to continue when the rains are already upon us. These logistical challenges and delays would certainly impact negatively on the farmers’ harvests this year.

“I wish to remind the Tonse Alliance government that they pledged during the political campaign that Malawians will now be able to afford three meals a day. I am afraid that at the rate we’re going, in as far as the cheap fertilizer scheme is concerned, we may end up having no meal at all. This is a matter of life and death,” said Nankhumwa.

Nankhumwa told Nyasa Times in an  interview that apart from the networking and communication challenges, farmers in Thyolo had also complained about underweight bags and poor-quality fertilizers.

One of the farmers at Thyolo, Aines Wisiki said she had been at the shop for six (6) days without buying a bag of maize. She is still waiting, breastfeeding her 9-months daughter.

“It’s a punishment; it’s ridiculous that after all that we heard from our politicians about this programme, this is the pain that we should be going through,” she complained.

Information Minister Gospel Kazako told reporters in Lilongwe on Thursday that there will be improvement in the sale of the cheap fertilizer because network and communication challenges have been dealt with.

Kazako, flanked by Agriculture Minister Lowe and National Unity and Civic Education Minister Timothy Mtambo, said the internet protocol address, which was cause for communication problems had been sorted out.

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has also spoken against challenges hampering the distribution of affordable farm inputs.

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23 Comments
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Khomboka
Khomboka
8 months ago

I thought those people voted DPP there? They should go and get feteleza from their adadi they voted for

Lumbani
Lumbani
8 months ago
Reply to  Khomboka

Do you think only Tonse are tax payers. umbuli

jah
jah
8 months ago
Reply to  Khomboka

mbuzi some people voted for onse. kodi u think a chewa paokha akanawina?

Busy
Busy
8 months ago

This so sad, like now from Senzani to Ntcheu Boma people have queued up waiting to buy the so called cheap feteleza

Apochere Dunia
Apochere Dunia
8 months ago
Reply to  Busy

This was a non-starter from the moment this was released. IMF immediately cautioned government to tread carefully, mainly when it came to rescinding administrative methods applied by the previous government. Much as what they did was not palatable, but not everything they dished out was poisonous. Here we are to day and not even a single stride in the right direction has been made and yet the implementer who apparently should be the second in command who is a Marketer and Economist by qualification, is seen with his mouth agape not knowing what hit him. Instead the 2 Amigos go… Read more »

Max
Max
8 months ago

Thyolo! Mmmm! They didn’t even vote for Tonse, let them boycott the cheap fertilizer.

Last edited 8 months ago by Max
Mwini muzi
Mwini muzi
8 months ago
Reply to  Max

This is government’s money for all to benefit and the criteria is being a Malawi citizen and not being a supporter who voted for Tonse.

Last edited 8 months ago by Mwini muzi
SPIRITUAL WATCHER.
SPIRITUAL WATCHER.
8 months ago

Wa opposition ndi wa opposition basi.

Ideal man
Ideal man
8 months ago

If nankhumwa was doing this eduring spp era it would be a commendable job Koma tikudzwa this is politics about those challenges government knows them for they are the ones who devised that system they will work on it o sati mutchuke ngat otsata kwambili

Chikopa
Chikopa
8 months ago

I was at Bvumbwe this afternoon clerks are conniving with venders buying the input. Bvumbwe police is totally rotten they’re the ones assisting venders living the sick, old and pregnant women suffering one line, when the so called net work comes the pave way for vender

Acumen
Acumen
8 months ago

Iam not surprised that Mcp is worse than dpp on this. Remember, mcp wants to expand the program to cover everybody unfortunately that is not feasible for the economy. Its easy to oppose but now mcp are having rude awakening.

Rocky Dada
Rocky Dada
8 months ago

No need to blast Govt, these are the teething problems any strategy execution is inherently prone to. I’ve done my spot checks, the first two or three days, indeed people have been lining up for hours to collect the cheapest ever fertilizers and seed since independence. It is up to the farm or Agro outlets and their management to be systematic in managing the AIP, you can’t serve all beneficiaries withing 5 days or one week. Divise an orderly manner to distribute such inputs, and you dont need Govt in such. Govt has laid down policy, financing and or subsidising… Read more »

Hardy
Hardy
8 months ago
Reply to  Rocky Dada

koma zoti anthu ena adzala but have not recieved fertilizer mukuziziwa? Mvula siidikira feteleza

Let
Let
8 months ago

This subsidy will be our undoing. In certain areas people have already planted yet there is no fertilizer. If the president does not swiftly intervene, we will be staring in the face of hunger next year and the 3 meals per day plan will backfire.

Chacharito
Chacharito
8 months ago

Challenges aside, as the challenges will be addressed any way with or without Nankhumwa, more people will access the fertilizer under Chakwera than under Peter by December. Maize production will be higher in this growing season.

Nakhumwa uses very cheap and childish political tactics which is already denting the once ruling party. Nankhumwa is not a strategic thinker. He mistakenly thinks that every one is illiterate, cannot appreciate the Tonse Alliance efforts on the cheap fertilizer!

Ngoni
Ngoni
8 months ago
Reply to  Chacharito

Bwana have you seen how people are suffering in the selling points? Politics aside, what Nankhumwa has observed is reality.

Liars exposed
8 months ago
Reply to  Chacharito

I doubt if you are living within the borders of Malawi. This AIP program is in a total mess. The list being used to identify beneficiaries is that of 2017/18. For you to talk shit about the program working well is utter nonsense. Go and visit most outlets to see what is happening. Not many people will access the inputs. Do not just support anything about Tonse alliance. We all want the program to succeed but there are certain weak areas within the organisation of the program. Before you make senseless comments try to check out your facts.

Kumavalo Nsamaonetsa Nyoni
Kumavalo Nsamaonetsa Nyoni
8 months ago
Reply to  Chacharito

Sometimes leave politics aside and look at the problem.

The people that need fertilizer don’t care where it comes from they need it to survive.

You are making political noise because the fertilizer is not a life or death for you.

We have seen it,people died when Muluzi and Joyce Banda sold maize. People were failing to bury each other chifukwa cha njala,ndiye muziti DPP,MCP,njala siona zipani DPP,MCP TONSE you die of starvation.

chimbirajembe
8 months ago
Reply to  Chacharito

Which efforts are you talking about. Are you aware that the situation in this article is wide spread, that business owners have taken advantage of this situation and reduced the amount of fertilizer from 50kg to somewhere around 40kg? I sad story story happened at Chisombezi Court depot, near Nguludi Hospital in Chiradzulu where a sales lady reached a point of slapping an old woman, whom she alleged was making noise. Yet the woman was only trying to reclaim her position on the queu where she has been for the past two days. And the sales lady even challenged the… Read more »

Vindele
Vindele
8 months ago
Reply to  chimbirajembe

What people do not understand is the impact of disorganization that was created by previous government is yet to be dismantled and that tales a bit of time. Tonse government is still using those structures. You will see the impact of progress or no progress after 18months.

Manyalira Mhone
8 months ago
Reply to  Vindele

Walongola nadi kuti mwa iwe muli vindele vinandi. Amuonani mawalo tukumu mu buluku.

Manyalira Mhone
8 months ago
Reply to  Chacharito

Mbuzi Chicharito. Wangokula mutu koma nzeru nkhabe. That’s why you are Chicharito, empty Malawian who doesn’t even want to use his own name. Gwape.

Mwini muzi
Mwini muzi
8 months ago
Reply to  Chacharito

Almost every body accessed fertilizer during Bingu era at as little as K500 per bag.People did not experience these delays as we experience them now.

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