The Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) Deputy National Coordinator, Osbourne Tsoka has said there has been “remarkable progress” in the distribution of commodities in this year’s programme with 90 percent of fertiliser distributed to the 1.5 million smallholder farmers.
This year’s Fisp was marred with logistical problems which raised fears of a worst distribution season.
But Tsoka told journalists who toured Dowa and Salima Districts, that about 135,829 of 150,000 metric tons of NPK and Urea fertilizer were dispatched to various markets across the country representing 133 846.00 metric tonnes against the 150 000 metric tonnes needed which was not the case last year.
He disclosed that all the three warehouses of the Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund (SFFRFM)—Luwinga in Mzuzu, Kanengo in Lilongwe and Chirimba in Blantyre—the stocks’ balances report on NPK fertiliser is indicating that over 74 million bags were received with over 70 million distributed. There is a balance of four million bags.
“As you might be aware the FISP programme was launched in October and it has taken us a month to make such a success. As I am talking to you, we are making the very last dispatches and we hope to finish the whole distribution and selling processes by December end,” Tsoka explained.
He however credited the desirable progress to the cooperation that existed between the ministry, the suppliers, transporters and the marketing agencies such as ADMARC and Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM)
“I also have to commend farmers for their cooperation with the marketing officers and for adopting the system of buying by village which has reduced incidences of corruption as only the valid beneficiaries are the ones who were allowed to buy monitored by the chiefs and their subjects.”
SFFRFM Regional Manager for the Central, Patrick Milanzi, said he is sure by the end of this week all fertilizer will be dispatched to the farmers.
Gift Mhone a Madisi based SFFRFM depot sales manager told Nyasa Times there is no chaos this year because of the new policy which allows farmers to buy fertilizer by Group Village Headman where they are coming from.
Malawi government introduced the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) in 2005 to improve national food security and lift the productivity of smallholder farmers after several years of drought brought poor harvests.
The scheme is widely seen as successful in achieving both goals, but expensive.
Meanwhile, Tsoka speaking during a media orientation exercise organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development onthe implementation of the 204/2015 FISP programme, sid FISP continues to contribute to drastic increases in maize harvest.
Since its inception, Malawi has not imported maize crop which Tsoka described as a sign of improved food security and social economic development.
“There are success stories that have not been told about the programme and for your information since the inception of the initiative Malawi has not imported any single grain of maize which is a great sign of a food secured nation.
“In addition, this programme has improved livestock at household levels as people produce more than enough food thereby avoiding sale of livestock in exchange for food,” he explained.
This year, 1.5 million farmers are expected to benefit from the fertilizer subsidy programme.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :