MCP wants Malawi govt to phase out FISP  for universal fertiliser subsidy

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) says the government’s programme of providing cheaper farm inputs to smallholder farmers has not produced results and is maintain that there should be universal subsidy program.

Chakwera with MCP MP Mwale

MCP president the Reverend Lazarus Chakwera, who is also Leader of Opposition, told parliament that there should be an immediate stop to the current Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) which benefits 1.4 million poor farmers who buy a 50 kilogramme bag of fertiliser at K500 even after admitting that it was no longer effective.

During his State of the Nation Address (Sona) delivered in Parliament on Friday, President Peter Mutharika  committed to continue implementing Fisp reforms by strengthening private sector participation.

He announced the preliminary crop estimates indicate a 37.5 percent increase in maize production from 2.4 million metric tonnes (MT) in 2015/16 season to 3.3 million MT this season.

But Chakwera in his response to the Sona,  advocated for phasing out  of Fisp and  introduce a universal subsidy programme

“Mr Speaker, Sir, we wish to reiterate our stand against FISP implementation and advocate for universal subsidy. This is because despite the President’s claim that government is implementing FISP reforms, his failure to state what these reforms are, gives us no reason to change what we know to be true, that FISP is being poorly implemented,” said Chakwera.

He said Fisp costs  are continually escalating and yet the number of beneficiaries keeps dwindling.

“Again, the program has created a lot of strife in our communities especially between those that have received help and local leaders on one hand, and those that have been left out on the other,” Chakwera said.

He said  input subsidy program has become “too political” and thus “divisive” in the communities where Malawians live.

“I call on government to prove that they have the courage to do the right thing, which is to phase out FISP by firstly universally subsidizing prices of top dressing fertilizers while encouraging our farmers to undertake intensive organic fertilizer or (manure) adoption as an alternative to the costly basal dressing fertilizers.

“Just because changing our habits is hard to do, does not mean we should not do it. We have the choice to do the right thing or to do the easy thing, and continuing FISP the way it is being done with no calendar for transitioning to something more sustainable is the easy thing,” said Chakwera.

Several commentators, including academics, have asked government to devise an exit-strategy for Fisp, saying it is not sustainable in the long run.

Each year, almost the same beneficiaries are given coupons to buy subsidised fertiliser and seed.

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Obviously Universal Subsidy will not be for commercial farmers


If FISP is a burden, then Universal Subsidy is a mad man’s dream. Does Malawi have the resources to be subsidizing fertilizer for Mulli Brothers, Illovo, Mbabzi Estates, Chitakale etc? Chakwera should not be allowed to cheat Malawians like Bakili Muluzi did about “free fertilizers and free shoes.” Kenako azidzati anthu openga inu ine ndidanenera kuti zimenezi? Chakwera sadziwa kuti ma policy ngati amenewa amabweretsa economic isolation from bilateral and multilateral partners.


Well, Mr. Dausi, DPP and everyone who opposes for the sake of opposing, you keep saying Chakwera criticises but offers no solution’s or alternatives.

Here he is proposing Universal Fertiliser Subsidy which we all know will benefit every smallholder farmers, unlike FISP which is accessible to the elite few.

Mtumbuka weniweni

But Why call for IMMEDIATE stop. Is that advising or demanding. Nobody would be pleased with that approach.

Em Cee
@Basuta Banda, you only don’t follow better what LMC says in his statements. May be bcoz you don’t subscribe to his solutions when he argues. This time you seem to understand and follow simply bcoz you feel the same and you have an interest whatsoever. Most of LMC criticisms do carry with them solutions. Give yourself time from to understand his statements better than just listening from other people. You will end up being misled. @Be humane, Don’t show your ignorance here. You think you are more knowledgeable than LMC. You have just shown that there is nothing you know… Read more »
JBC Atate
Much as what Chakwera has said may be good, I wonder where Malawi can find resources to finance the universal subsidy. As a leader, he should not make proposals for the sake of it. He should consider availability of resources given Malawi’s dependency on donors over the years and the current stand of donors. If the donors had objected to targeted subsidy programme as introduced by late Bingu wa Muthatrika, how can they accept universal subsidy now? Mr. Chakwera, tell the Government where to find resources to implement your “brilliant” idea while at the same time ensuring that other sectors… Read more »
Walhelha Ochavo

bola lero mwanena za mzeru


That is the is the best to go we support as Malawi please carry on no more it has only made few people in dpp get rich and this is unacceptable.

be humane

Please check your facts first. Which year was a 50kg bag of fertilizer costed K500? Get updated when presenting your points. Mr. Chakwera we don’t need universal fertilizer subsidy but we don’t need the subsidy programme what we want is good and sound policies that will make every person have money to buy the fertilizer. Let us not cheerish poverty but fight its existence


Kikkkkk obadwa 1995 samasowatu hahahahaahaha!! in our days we were taking ulimi patsogolo ndalama pa mbuyo, to day you want money ulimi pa mbuyo, very bad.


Atsogoleri a DPP ndi atsankho komanso okondera. For the past two years I was working in the Southern region of Malawi – in rural areas – I would think FISP benefits the Lomwe belt where coupons are given to many families unlike in other regions, so the best is what Chakwera is pointing out chifukwa misonkhoyi si ya anthu a region chimodzi ayi.

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