As people, especially those working for government, are enjoying festive holidays things are different to those responsible for the logistical arrangements for the distribution of farm inputs to different designated selling points under the Affordable Inputs Program (AIP) as government is working tirelessly to see these delivered to farmers.
According to a circular from the Office of President and Cabinet, government has instructed its ministries and departments to release official trucks and station wagons to help with distribution of fertilizer under the AIP.
The circular signed by Dickson Chunga on behalf of the Secretary of President and Cabinet indicated that the delays in the distribution of the commodity to the designated places has been caused logistical hitches being faced by the Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM)
‘’As you are aware the Government of the Republic of Malawi, through the Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi is in the process of distribution of fertilizer under the Affordable Inputs Programme AIP to targeted farmers across the country. However, the exercise has faced logistical challenges in terms of availability of adequate Lorries to ferry the fertilizer from SFFRFM Warehouse to the various selling points. In this regard, Government would like to request Ministries, Departments and Agencies MDAs to support the exercise by providing Lorries and Twin Cabs/Stations to SFFRFM,’’ Reads the circular.
Although there have been some logistical challenges in terms of transportation of the commodity, government through the Ministry of Agriculture has put in place technical mechanisms that will ensure that people access the fertilizers once they arrive different designated in selling points without difficulties this.
Some of these measures is the recruitment of over 250 clerks across the country, the purchasing of over 300 mobile phones to be used in selling points and the commencement of mobile vending averaging 5 points per constituency.
Earlier this month, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture announced plans to work with Members of Parliament on fertilizer transportation as one way of facilitating easing the transportation process.
The step taken by the OPC dispels rumours being spread by government critics who have been saying the 2022/23 AIP is a failure, hence creating unnecessary panic to beneficiaries of the programme.