Minister of Agriculture, Lobin Lowe has warned the government is set to axe 21 firms in the Affordable Input Program (AIP).
Lowe said that the ministry will terminate contracts of the firms because they have failed to supply the subsidised fertiliser under the program.
He was addressing a news conference in Lilongwe and said out of 82 companies, only 61 are delivering.
“We cannot keep the companies which have not yet started supplying at this time so we do not have options but to terminate the contracts,” he said.
The minister has since given the companies up until next week to deliver.
Lowe disclosed that his ministry undertook a tour in the Lower Shire where fraud was detected.
“In some instances we saw suppliers selling underweight fertilizer for example 30 Kilograms , we have closed three shops so far,” he said.
The AIP is facing numerous glitches as more than half of the fertilizer for the program remains at port in Mozambique, network problems and other logistical challenges.
This is forcing some people, mostly women, to sleep over selling shops.
The NGO Gender Coordination Network has expressed worry with women spending nights at selling points of Affordable the farm inputs, saying the trend poses a threat to their security.
Vice Chairperson of NGOGCN Desmond Mhango said that the current situation might also pose a threat to some women losing their marriages from jealousy husbands.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :