UK withdraws Malawi farm subsidies support: FISP exit strategy needed

Malawi’s Farm Input Subsidy Program, or FISP,  has been dealt a big blow following the decision by Britain’s Department for International Development (DfID) to withdraw its £700,000 (about K630million) funding.

Jen Marshall: Head of DfID in Malawi confirms withdraw of FISP support

The government effort, introduced eight years ago, enables the poor farmers to buy farm inputs including fertilizers at reduced prices.

But Jean Marshall, head of DfID in Malawi, confirmed the withdraw of the support but will continue supporting a number of investments which support national  agriculture  development priorities.

According to Marshal, the program  “finally closes at the end of July 2017.”

Malawi’s support for fertilizer and other farm inputs takes up more over half of Malawi’s agricultural budget

Billy Mayaya, the chairperson of National Right to Food Network in Malawi, says there is  need to find an exit strategy to FISP.

“There are a lot of concerns on issues of food in the country particularly the implementation of FISP,” he said. “While it is a good program at the same time, there are concerns over the expense of the program, and I think there is the need for the government to start considering an exit strategy.”

Despite the program, Malawi has still had to import maize.

Supporters of FISP say those shortages are another reason for keeping the program.

Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) asked government to consider an exit strategy for Fisp, saying it was becoming unsustainable due to its cost on the budget, among others.

A  research commissioned by DfID found that 25 percent of the selected beneficiaries are resource-poor farmers with the well-to-do farmers taking up about 50 percent and the remainder being taken up by the middle class farmers.

Ministert of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe  remains adamant that government will continue  supporting FISP “using local resources.”

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5 years ago

Eya zithedi. Zonsezi ndi Chaponda

5 years ago

The fact is we should be ashamed of ourselves for failing to make any real strides with FISP from its early days to present its a shame that only 25 percent goes to those who really need it while the rest is just consumed by those who can otherwise manage on their own. projects such as these are not meant for middle to upper class people but in malawi this is the story of many project the poor get nothing mostly because some top guys pocket everything. im happy the UK is pulling out we would do the same if… Read more »

chancellor wa Chancellor
chancellor wa Chancellor
5 years ago

Well done UK for protecting UK taxpayers money which has only been blundered here.
Let the UK citizens enjoy their salaries instead of deducting as tax for international Aid.
International Aid what. Let the internationals fend for themselves. If they can afford to
keep in houses million of money they are rich they can support themselves.

o baba
5 years ago

tipeze njira zina zodzithandizira, a Goodle don’t kakamira this failed Fisp. Alire ndi anzathu othamanga logistics and kick backs here and there.

Yahya Jammeh
5 years ago

Dont blame the British, they are sensing that Chaponda will be brought back to Agriculture Ministry to plunder resources in harder way. If Government was serious to curb corruption, APM should have made Massi Minister of Agriculture, not Deputy. The move is an indication that APM still wants Chaponda back as Minister because he is hoping that the court will free him. Why arrest Uladi as a suspect and not Chaponda when he is equally a suspect? If you read between two lines Chaponda is not alone. I will rule Gambia for a billion years.

masa masina
masa masina
5 years ago

Donor dependence has been a curse to Malawi. It has given us false hope, undermined our autonomy, frustrated our development, kept us dependent like infants, sent us sleeping on the job, blinded us from reality of life, killed our creative thinking and made us poorer than we were before. It is time the donor left us to fend for ourselves and learn to deal with our demons that feeds on corruption.

5 years ago

UK joined us and found us already implementing FISP. They can as well go. We shall continue with the programme anyway. After all, all they were doing was to simply print coupons hahaha. Bye bye UK.

5 years ago

We have had mmwenye being caught in possession of about US$600k plus gold bars etc. GBP700k is very little money that our government should invest in this subsidy if it was beneficial to the country. But the truth is, we should instead set up a grants system as is the case in brasil and south africa where the most vulnerable families are offered say K10,000 per month. The electronic payment has to be activated for food and agriculture shops to avoid misusing the resources in alcohol consumption.

5 years ago

Malawi a list country.

Chipapwiche Kajhalwiche
Chipapwiche Kajhalwiche
5 years ago
Reply to  benjones

What were you trying to say and failed to say it?

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