By Issac Jali
The government has announced that the beneficiaries of the Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) will be buying fertiliser at K15,000 per 50-kilogramme bag and K5,000 for a 5-kilogramme pack of seed.
Announcing this in Lilongwe, Chairperson of the AIP, Richard Chimwendo Banda, said the prices have been set in line with President Dr Lazarus Chakwera’s wish of ensuring that farmers have access to cheap fertiliser, although fertiliser prices have skyrocketed as a result of other factors including the Russia – Ukraine war.
“Currently we wish to inform Malawians that 2.5 million beneficiaries will have access to affordable fertiliser and right now we have secured 92 thousand metric tonnes from various countries and development partners,” said Chimwendo Banda.
He further disclosed that Morocco has helped Malawi with 52,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser, enough to cater for 1.1 Million farmers, while the African Development Bank (AfDB) has given Malawi 20,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser.
The Chairperson also said the World Food Programme (WFP) has given Malawi 20,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser.
According to Chimwendo Banda, only the Smallholder Farmers Fertiliser Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM) will be responsible for selling the fertiliser using ADMARC markets and no other agro-dealer will be involved as a way of curbing corrupt activities that have been rocking the programme previously.
Chimwendo Banda was flanked by Minister of Agriculture, Sam Kawale, Information and Digitalisation Minister, Gospel Kazako, Minister of Finance, Sosten Gwengwe and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nancy Tembo.
In the 2022 / 23 national budget, the government set aside K109 billion for the AIP.