Thursday, July 18, 2024

Chakwera’s Administration Rock Crosshairs on AIP as 32% of Fertilizer and Seed Already in Markets

Sam Kawale

In contrast to previous farming seasons when the Affordable Farm Inputs, commonly known as the subsidy fertilizer program, would arrive late, causing concern as crops had often surpassed the optimal stage for fertilizer application, this time is different. According to Agriculture Minister Sam Kawale, as of yesterday, 32.3 percent of the 2023/2024 Affordable Input Programme (AIP) fertilizer has already been distributed to markets for farmers to access.

Addressing the media at the Ministry of Agriculture headquarters in Lilongwe during a press briefing on the AIP’s progress, Kawale expressed optimism that the program would meet its implementation deadline.

During the official launch of the program at Kavidebwele Primary School Ground in Kasungu, President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera set a 40-day ultimatum for the completion of this year’s AIP, demonstrating a commitment to timely implementation.

“So far the 96,390 farmers have purchased NPK fertilizer while 103,367 have purchased Urea. We are optimistic that farmers will be able to redeem their fertilizer within the stipulated period,” said Kawale.

However, the minister expressed concern that there are some challenges encountered in the programme which he said his ministry is rectifying.

He acknowledged reports of anomalies such that some villages or names are missing on the list.

“Some villages are found in constituencies other than theirs. I, therefore, urge all those concerned to report such anomalies. My ministry will rectify once notified,” he said.

Minister of Information and Digitalisation, Moses Kunkuyu appealed to beneficiaries to follow their area schedule for redeeming their fertilizer.


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