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Computer dealers to supply fertiliser

Government has in the 2016/2017 Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) included some companies dealing in computers and vehicle logistics, to supply 5,400 metric tonnes of fertiliser, a development which has raised suspicions as to whether the programme will yield its intended results.

According to a letter of submission, dated September 8, 2016 Reference Number ODPI/03/72 addressed to Chief Executive Officer of Smallholder Farmers Fertiliser Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM), government has informed the company that it has granted a no objection for the procurement of the commodity.

Among the 27 dealers selected are Computer Systems Malawi Limited, which is to supply 1,000 tonnes valued at K3 billion and Network Print and Vehicle Logistics Limited also to supply 1,000 tonnes for the same value.

But Spokesperson for the Ministry of Agriculture, Hamilton Chimala, has defended the arrangement arguing that supply of fertiliser is not a technical job and that all selected firms were vetted by the Office of Director of Public Procurement (ODPP).

Chimala argued that most of the commercial players selected have the fertiliser in stock across selling points adding that the ministry is on schedule for a successful Fisp which is now at 60 percent private sector management.

“Fertiliser is a trade commodity meaning a bid to supply such a commodity is evaluated based on bidder technical and financial submissions. All selected firms demonstrated that capacity after a thorough and rigorous process,” Chimala said.

“Note that even the so called fertiliser firms sourced the product outside the country. You will also appreciate that all the firms were vetted by the ODPP. A lead time of six weeks is enough as we have zero transportation arrangements,” he said.

Other companies supplying Fisp fertiliser this season include, ETG Inputs Limited, Mulli Brothers Limited, Transglobe Produce Export Limited, Astro Chemicals, MAS International, Gasom

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