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AIP  BENEFICIARIES TO REDEEM INPUTS WITHIN 40 DAYS

President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has launched the 2023/24 Affordable Inputs Programme with an order to the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure smooth implementation of the programme and ensure that all eligible beneficiaries start redeeming their inputs within 40 days from today.

Dr Chakwera was speaking at Kavidebwere Primary School ground in Kasungu during the launch of the programme which will benefit 1.5 million farmers across the country.

Although it is clear, that fertilizer is a scarce commodity not only in Malawi but across the entire globe, the Government of Malawi under the AIP  is providing eligible farm households with a   bag of UREA and  NPK each weighing 50 kilogrammes and a five-kilogramme packet of maize seed.

It is expected that all private suppliers will supply fertilizer to Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM) warehouses for distribution to various selling points across Malawi.

Speaking at the official launch of the programme, President Dr Lazarus Chakwera reiterated his administration’s commitment to ensure Malawians are food secure by supporting them with affordable inputs.  Dr Chakwera said he doesn’t want Malawians to survive on donated foodstuffs.

He said it is pleasing to note that AIP has proved to be an impactful safety net.

The Malawi Leader dismissed those who agitated for abandonment of AIP due to supply chain constraints it faced as a result of the Russia-Ukraine War.

On implementation of the programme, Dr Chakwera warned that govt will deal with any officer trying to enrich himself through the programme. He also ordered the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure all eligible beneficiaries start accessing their inputs within 40 days.

“Let me warn all officers against abuse of the programme and anyone found will be severely dealt with,” warned Dr Chakwera.

In his remarks, Minister of Agriculture, Sam Kawale,  assured Malawians that this year’s implementation of the AIP will run smoothly.

Speaking earlier during the function, Mike Bango, legislator for Kasungu North where the launch took place thanked the government for maintaining the K15,000 redeeming price for the fertilizer, although the commodity is expensive globally.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the total fertilizer mobilised is 149 thousand metric tonnes, of which 122 thousand metric tonnes have been procured through the current budget while 16 thousand metric tonnes are from carry-over stocks and six thousand metric tonnes are to be procured through IFAD while  5, 200 metric tonnes is from a Japanese Government grant.

Reported by Isaac Jali.

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