Receiving the coupons Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Joseph Mwanamvekha said this is a record performance as all 1 million coupons have arrived in one consignment. Mwanamveka said at the moment his Ministry is planning to launch distribution in two weeks time on 8 October in Mangochi.
‘The arrival of the whole consignment of farm input subsidy coupons is a milestone for us because in previous years coupons were arriving in the country in bits, which was making distribution a challenge. Last year the last tranche of coupons arrived in December and the previous year we received the last lot in January’, said Mwanamvekha.
The Minister said the situation made other districts to get their coupons early or late after first rains a situation that resulted in poor harvest.
The Minister said tight security features have been put on the coupons in order to check proliferation of fake coupons which disturb the process.
‘As a Ministry we cannot manage to deal with the malpractice alone, we rely on beneficiaries and other whistle blowers to tell us about any anomaly in the distribution exercise. But we promise to prosecute anybody found abusing the program without fear or favour,’ warns Mwanamvekha.
Beneficiaries this year will be able to buy a bag of urea, NPK and seeds which will either be maize, rice or sorghum.
The 2018/19 Farm Input Subsidy Program will use National Identity Cards for identification of the beneficiaries.