Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe has labelled the 2020/21 Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) a “success” and announced that it ends on 20th February 2021.
Lowe speaking at a news conference held at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC)in Lilongwe on Thursday said the programme made “ a landmark achievement of getting over 90 percent redemption rate.
He said out of 3 788 105 targeted farmers, 3 391 440 smallholder farmers had redeemed their 2 bags of 50kgs each while 2 662 340 targeted farmers had redeemed seeds by 30th January 2021.
“Despite the challenges we met, I can assure the farmers and the public that in the next two weeks remains 300 000 sales will have been completed, as the selling season is expected to close by February 20, 2021.
“We expect to realize over four million tons of total harvest which will give the country a huge surplus of maize indicating a good bye to hunger,” Lowe said.
Lowe said this year’s maize harvest projection is at 4 million metric tonnes. He attributed this to AIP as well as good rains this country is receiving.
He added that by 30th January 2021, the Ministry of Agriculture had received an invoice of K108.0 billion from fertiliser suppliers and K11.8 billion from seed suppliers and the Ministry has so far paid K77 billion.
Lowe said the tripling of beneficiaries of AIP has reduced the afflictions between locals and the chiefs in the country.
“We have finally given the chiefs the peace and the respect they deserved because there was no selective registration of beneficiaries,” he added.
Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Gospel Kazako said time has come for Malawians to no longer sleep on empty stomachs due to shortage of food.
“The Tonse government does not politicize on farming because we count on all citizens as the rightful beneficiaries in all government projects.
“Although we are sailing in troubled waters due to Covid 19 pandemic, government wants to assure the citizens that all development plans and projects which were made known or were not will be implemented in case, all what we need is patience and unity to see light at the end of the tunnel,” he alluded.
According to the two Ministers, government has all in place to develop its citizens in all dimensions regardless of the region.—Additional reporting by Alfred Chauwa, Nyasa Times.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :