The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has described the 2017/18 Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) as a success and the best over the years.
According to the ministry’s annual report, the 2017/18 Fisp was well implemented compared to the past three seasons.
The report said the input redemption process had been finalised by the final week of December unlike in other seasons when the programme beneficiaries could redeem the inputs as late as February.
According to the report, the success of the implementation was due to timely implementation of the programme.
“Unlike in the previous seasons, the key activities of the programme were implemented timely.
The programme was also successful due to availability of fertiliser and seeds in all the retail market outlets except few exceptional hard to reach areas.
“The early start of the programme ensured that the input retailers could dispatch fertiliser and seed before the onset of the planting rains,” reads part of the report.
The report further said the ministry enjoyed overwhelming support from all the stakeholders of the programme, including the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources and the ministry’s staff who assisted in the timely implementation of the programme.
“The ministry also conducted several meetings with both fertiliser and seed suppliers of the programme. At such meetings, targets were set of which they were achieved. The ministry allocated fertiliser suppliers to hard to reach and remote areas where farmers were eventually served.
“In the 2017/2018, Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development directly disbursed funds to agriculture development Divisions. This assisted in the timely implementation of Fisp activities,” reads the report in part.
The report further said the involvement of all the Directors of the Ministry to monitor the programme implementation process, alongside the Malawi Police Services in the monitoring of the programme brought sanity to the programme.