Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa says at least 900000 smallholder farmers from 28 districts will benefit from this year’s Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP).
The minister said this during a press briefing on Monday in Blantyre where he said 90,000 metric tonnes (MT) of fertilizer will be accessed this year of which 45,000 tonnes are of NPK type while 45,000 tonnes are of Urea type.
“Over 4,500 metric tonnes of maize seed will be accessed this year, 30 tonnes of sorghum seed and 50 tonnes of rice seed will be accessed depending on the farmers’ preference, geographical areas and rainfall regime.
“900 metric tonnes have been allocated to legume seeds for soya bean, beans, ground nuts, cowpeas and pigeon peas which will also be accessed this season under the programme,” Nankhumwa said.
He added that each beneficiary will receive a set of four coupons to redeem specific and fixed quantities of inputs with top-ups where necessary.
“Every beneficiary is expected to receive one 50 Kg bag of NPK, One 50 Kg bag of Urea, a pack of either 5Kg maize seed or 7Kg Sorghum, or 7kg of Rice seed and a pack of either 1 Kg ground nuts or beans or 2 Kg pack of soya bean/pigeon peas/cow peas seed.
“Government will make a substantial contribution towards each commodity for the benefit of smallholder farmers. The contribution shown on the coupon value will clearly be indicated on the coupon for transparency purposes.
“The farmer who receives the coupons as a beneficiary will therefore pay the difference between the commodity market value in a shop and the amount of money shown on the coupon already paid by government,” Nankhumwa said.
He then urged beneficiaries of the programme to prepare for their contribution or top-ups before they redeem inputs using coupons.
Malawi has been implementing FISP for the last 15 years and it has registered a lot of success in the process.