The Ministry of Agriculture has admitted having paid 750 million kwacha to an international company which failed to supply fertilizer.
The fertiliser was meant for this year’s Affordable Input Program-AIP which is yet to roll out, despite the rainy season approaching.
Chairperson of the parliamentary committee on Agriculture Sameer Suleman, revealed that an international company has swindled the government millions of kwacha.
In a statement, Secretary for Agriculture Sandram Maweru has explained that Barkaat Food Company had a production line with a UK based supplier, Yara UK to supply 25,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer.
Maweru says the Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi-SFFRFM engaged the company to supply the fertiliser for the AIP.
He reveals that the company requested 750 Million Kwacha as a show of commitment for the business deal, which SFFRFM paid through EcoBank.
But Barkaat Foods Company failed to supply the fertiliser and terminated the contract of the fertilizer citing loss of production line at Yara UK.
Maweru therefore says the government has ordered the company to return the money by the end of this month for failing to honour the contract.
This has attracted mixed views with some questioning whether procurement procedures were followed including vetting of international companies involved in public contracts.
Critics demand that heads must roll, as the scandal is likely going to damage the country’s reputation in the eyes of the development partners.