President Lazarus Chakwera has pulled a tense-cloaked achievement on the Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) which was sailing in murky waters offering a not-so-clear future for the programme this farming season.
Prevailing against such dark tide, Chakwera has launched the sale of the cheap fertilizer in a ceremony that took place today (Saturday, 19th November 2022) in Dedza district.
The AIP success in Malawi was threatened by independent international factors such as skyrocketing prices of fertilizer at the international market following the Russia/Ukraine war as well as domestic political and savagery machinations.
Among the sabotage-sponsored hurdles, relating to domestic machinations, that attempted to stand in the way of the programme include the famous K750 million duping scandal that was perpetrated by a butchery-specialized shop based in United Kingdom in conjunction with local looters privy to the implementation of the programme.
Speaking during the launch, the Chairperson of the AIP Taskforce, Honourable Richard Chimwendo Banda, who is also Minister of Youth and Sports explained that those whose national identity cards have passed their expired date will not be stopped from buying the fertilizer.
“Even though national IDs might have reached expiry date for some, citizenship does not expire. They will be allowed to buy while they should make sure that they can renew their cards later”, he said.
Taking his turn, the Minister of Agriculture, Honourable Sam Kawale, highlighted that Malawi’s burden to deliver on the AIP programme this year has been lessened by bilateral assistance rendered by different international organizations and countries.
The World Bank has partnered with Malawi in Agriculture Commercialization (Agricom) programme which seeks to help large-scale commercial agriculture entrepreneurs with access to funding. This, according to the Ministry of Agriculture is tallying with mega-farm implementation agenda, one of agriculture flagship initiatives conceived by the Malawi Congress Party 2019 manifesto.
A group of development partners and donors comprising the African Development Bank (ADB) and World Food Programme (WFP) have assisted Malawi with 20,000 metric tonnes while the Kingdom of Morocco has assisted with 10,000 metric tonnes of the fertilizer following President Chakwera’s discussions with these partners during his different tours that he had embarked outside the country.