Minister of Agriculture, irrigation and Water Development Joseph Mwanamvekha Wednesday officially launched the 2017/18 Farm Input subsidy (FISP) Programme with a warning to suppliers to desist from selling substandard inputs to farmers.
Speaking at Mzura in Mchinji during the launch ceremony, the Minister said government would deal with all the suppliers that would sale farmers expired fertilizers or seeds.
“In the 2017/18 FISP contract between Government and suppliers have signed and committed that no supplier will sell substandard inputs, and as a ministry we will be checking the inputs before they are distributed in selling points,” Mwanamveka added.
He warned the suppliers against buying the coupons from the farmers saying companies involved in the malpractice will be banned and would not be allowed to supply inputs for the programme.
Mwanamvekha said government has increased the value of coupons for maize seed from K3, 000 to K6, 000 to allow farmers to have good yields.
He said FISP programme has been a success, as it has enabled farmers who could not afford to buy fertilizers and seeds to buy and have enough food in their households.
Chairperson of the parliamentary committee on agriculture, Chidanti Malunga said his committee is vigilant and would monitor the programme to ensure it is conducted effectively this farming season.
He said his committee would ensure that all the irregularities which marred the FISP programme last farming season are addressed.
“We are encouraged that the distribution of coupons has started in good time this will ensure that farmers grow their crops in good time,” Malunga pointed out.
Government will subside NPK and UREA fertilizers per 50 kg bag for K15, 000 and K6, 000 5kg maize seed or sorghum for K6,000 and 2 kilogrammes of legume seed for K2,050.
Some of the companies to sell the subsidized inputs are Agora and Export and Trading.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :