The Ministry of Agriculture Thursday said 1.5 million bags of both Urea and NPK fertiliser and 8,600 metric tonnes (mt) of seeds have been redeemed by Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) beneficiaries.
Principal Secretary for Agriculture Dickxie Kampani said, as of Wednesday, 77,000 mt out of 247 000mt of fertiliser were distributed
This means that the distribution rate is at 31 percent.
Kampani disclosed this when he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (Pac) of Parliament to answer audit queries.
He said rainfall is a major setback to reaching out to many areas and that the ministry has since involved the Malawi Defence Force to ferry the commodities to depots and centres in those areas.
“The flow of the inputs has not been as expected but the ministry is working tirelessly to resolve the matters. We have also recruited 250 interns who have been trained in mobile vending,” he said.
Members of Parliament took turns to express displeasure with how their constituents are struggling to access fertiliser and seeds.
Pac Chairperson Mark Botomani said the Ministry of Agriculture should work tirelessly to ensure that farmers enjoy access to inputs as time is running out.
“Most farmers are yet to receive Urea. There is a lot to be done. Crops are growing everyday. As such, they are working against time,” he said.
Meanwhile, committee members have asked for a full AIP report from the ministry to be submitted by Tuesday next week.
In the 2022-23 AIP implementation year, 2.5 million farmers were identified to benefit through farmer clubs and groups.