Local suppliers have expressed concern over Malawi government’s decision to award large quantity of contracts of supplying fertilizer for Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) to suppliers of Asian origin.
One of the concerned local supplier told Nyasa Times in Lilongwe that many local suppliers have been left out without considering them in supplying a commodity meant for this year’s subsidy.
“There are very few local suppliers who have been awarded the contracts of supplying the inputs but in very small quantities compared to our Asian friends,” he said.
Some locals include Mulli Brothers who has been given to supply to Chirimba Depot about 2000 metric tonnes of fertilizers while others were given as much as 8,000 metric tonnes.
He said, they are surprised with the way contracts of supplying the inputs were awarded leaving a large group of locals who have the commodity in stock and in large quantity in their warehouses.
However, the fertilizer contracts were awarded to among others Krish Trading-8,000 metric tonnes, Paramount Hodings-8,000 metric tonnes, Hardware Shopping Centre-7000 mt, RTM Initiative-8000mt, Sealand Investments-1000mt.
Malawi Government is implementing reforms to make the Fisp more efficient and effective such as the privatisation of procurement and distribution of fertiliser and seeds under the subsidy program.
Minister of Agriculture Allan Chiyembekeza announced that each farmer will have to contribute K3500 ($7) per bag of fertilizer, up from K500 in the 2015/16 growing season.
A 5kgs bag of maize seed will now be sold at K1000 ($2) from K150 in the previous years while legumes are no longer for free as farmers will have to pay K500. About 1.5 million farmers are expected to benefit from the program in the 2015/16 season.
In 2005/6 the Government of Malawi introduced Fisp, a large scale national programme subsidising agricultural inputs, mainly fertilisers and seeds for maize production.