Fisp probe starts in Blantyre
The Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development will from next week start visiting warehouses of suppliers of the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) in Blantyre.
In an interview Monday, chairperson of the committee Joseph Chidanti Malunga, said the committee had met with the officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development to discuss how they would assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the Fisp to the intended beneficiaries.
Chidanti explained that during the discussions, the committee and the agriculture officials agreed to start inspecting warehouses of the suppliers of Fisp as part of the evaluation process.
“Yes, I can confirm that now we are making progress because the meeting we had with the officials from the ministry last week was fruitful. Next week we will start with visits to the warehouses of the Smallholder Farmers Fertiliser Revolving Fund which was in charge of distributing fertiliser, before inspecting the warehouses of other suppliers.
“This is positive development because our worry was how we would assess the suppliers looking at the fact that we have not yet received funding for the exercise. Briefly I can say the meeting with the officials from the ministry has opened the way and the progress will be made because we believe there were irregularities in the way Fisp was handled,” Malunga explained.
Some quarters of society have been urging the government to abolish the programme due to mismanagement of the process.
Some civil society organisations suggested that assessment of Fisp should not be trivialised because it has been characterised by corruption.
Moses Mkandawire of the Livingstonia Synod’s Church and Society recently urged the government to ensure that resources for evaluation of Fisp should be readily available because it is an issue that concerns the livelihoods of Malawians.
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