Agriculture authorities have announced completion of all preparatory processes for the 2022/2023 Affordable Inputs Programme-AIP.
In a statement, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Medrina Mloza Banda, states that procurement of fertilizer is almost completed and most of the required quantity is already in the country.
Mloza Banda adds that about 2.5 million farming households have been registered and are expected to benefit from the programme.
Beneficiary farmers are expected to be parting with K15,000 for a 50 kilogramme bag of AIP fertiliser.
The fertilizer that will be distributed through AIP has been sourced by the Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi, donations from Morocco through Sustain Africa Project, World Food Programme and a loan from the African Development Bank-ADB.
It comes after growing pressure on the government to explain how only 95,000 tons of donated fertiliser will be sufficient in this year’s AIP.
Reacting to the development Farmers Union of Malawi President Maness Nkhata insists that incidences of fraud may increase due to failure by farmers to redeem their subsidised fertilizer at fifteen thousand kwacha.
She believes poor farmers will be forced to exchange their identity cards with cash.
“The ministry could have come out clear on the amount of fertilizer that is already in the country and when it will be available on the market for farmers to start buying,’’ Nkhata said.
The launch of the AIP program is scheduled for this Saturday in Dedza district.