Malawi farmers can now afford a smile as government has finally launched the 2014/15 Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) amid financial constraints to dispatch the commodities to various areas.
The programme was launched Tuesday in Chitipa, but some parts are yet to receive the subsidised inputs.
Minister of Agriculture Dr Allan Chiyembekeza said suppliers had challenges with funds to dispatch the inputs to targeted areas across the country.
“We had challenges in dispatching the inputs to various areas. However, most parts will have the commodities by the end of this week,” said Chiyembekeza.
He said government will prioritise remote areas in its distribution.
Government is targeting 1.5 million smallholder farming families to ensure food security both at household and national level.
The ministry is expected to provide 150 000 metric tons or 3.8 million 50kg bags of fertilisers to targeted beneficiaries.
Chiyembekeza cautioned agro-dealers against overcharging farmers emphasising that the recommended price for subsidised fertiliser is K500 perk 50kg bag.
He said the ministry has put place strict security measures in order to minimise cases of theft in this year’s programme.
Fisp coordinator Christina Mtambo also said the ministry will prioritise hard-to-reach areas in its distribution but that the challenge is that some areas do not have enough warehouses.