The parliamentary committee on agriculture is demanding a thorough explanation on the Affordable Input Programme (AIP) review or it will reject the new budget allocation.
In the 2022/23 national budget, the government allocated K109 billion for AIP, but it has faced multiple challenges in supply and logistics.
President Lazarus Chakwera has since announced that his administration will maintain the AIP but will review it to target specific beneficiaries.
Chakwera made the announcement in his State of the Nation Address–SONA in Parliament, last Friday.
In his statement, Chakwera said; “In October I announced my intention to redesign the AIP to make it more targeted and efficient in the upcoming fiscal year. This is because after three years of implementation it has become evident that the programme faces a number of challenges including high cost of farm inputs and delayed procurement.”
He added that; “The programme is undergoing reforms to enhance its impact which will be effected in the new fiscal year.”
But the parliamentary committee through its chairperson Sameer Suleman argues that the current AIP implementation is a waste of tax-payers’ money.
“We thought the President will completely shut it (AIP) off and then come up with a different module of selling the fertiliser to smallholder farmers. As parliament we will not allow the programme to be maintained the way it is currently,” Suleman has warned.
The Affordable Inputs Programme, rebranded from Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) at least a month after Chakwera was voted as the Malawi leader.