By Malawi Exclusive
Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe on Tuesday told Parliament that his Ministry has registered progress in Agricultural Input Program (AIP) despite facing unprecedented challenges along the way.
Lowe said as of Tuesday 8 February, 2022, the Ministry has sold 265, 219.80 MT of
fertilizer translating into 5,304,396 bags
representing 71% redemption rate.
The Ministry has implemented the programme through the public institutions (ADMARC and Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi), Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and some few traditional suppliers.
“Using the above supplier categories, the Ministry has managed to sell 265, 219.80 MT of fertilizer (which is 5,304,396 bags)
representing 71% redemption rate.”
Among the challenges which the Ministry faced was resistance from some suppliers to out of 164 which were trusted with the responsibility.
Lowe said the suppliers demanded higher price than the Government recommend price.
“The August House may recall that I reported that the Government through my Ministry gave contract to 164 private companies to
sell their fertilizer to beneficiaries at an
approved price of MK27,000.00 per
bag of which Government pays MK19,500 and a beneficiary pays MK7,500. The Ministry received resistance from noted traditional suppliers to the point that some did not participate.”
Lowe said another challenge was an influx of the adulated fertilizer but he was quick to say the culprits were arrested.
” Madam Speaker, there were some unscruptious business persons who were distributed fake fertilizer to famers. This Madam Speaker was stilling from poor farmer and government at large. Through the Ministry of Homeland, the culprits were court and they are answering charges in courts of justice. It my prayer that stiffer punishments will be levelled to them if the courts find them guilty,”
Lowe then told the house on progress regarding issuance of certified seeds.
He said the Ministry has managed to sell 2,559,224 packs of certified seeds.
“The Ministry also sold certified improved seed to programme beneficiaries through 10 companies that were contracted. As of 7
th February 2022, the Ministry had sold 12 873.71 MT which translates to 2,559,224 packs representing a 69% redemption rate.” He said.