Written by  Miriam Kaliza
Ministers of Agriculture, Information and Civic Education are this afternoon addressing Journalists in Lilongwe on the state of preparedness for this year's Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP).
Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe says the number of beneficiaries for the program will remain at 3.7 million farming households as was the case last year. 
He has however noted with concern that 44 thousand Civil servants were found in the programme's database and have since been removed forthwith.
Lowe said out of K141 Billion Malawi allocated for the initiative in the current national budget, K124 Billion will be used for the purchase of fertiliser,  with the remainder to finance the purchase of seed and livestock.
He added this year, beneficiaries from Chikwawa and Nsanje districts will receive goats, pointing out that despite receiving subsidised farm inputs, beneficiaries in the two districts continue experiencing weather-induced crop failures. 
According to Lowe,  prices for 50-kilogramme bags of fertilizer are pegged at K27 thousand. He says Government will contribute K19, 500 for each bag with the balance to be footed by identified beneficiaries.

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