The Ministry of Agriculture has indicated that 80,000 metric tonnes of fertilisers procured recently under the Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) have been dispatched to destinations across the country.
The development coincides with the entrance of three commodity suppliers contracted under the programme that have started selling the inputs across the country.
The ministry’s public relations officer Greciun Lungu said the three, Chipiku, Paramount Commodities and Afriventure, are moving at a fast rate in selling the inputs to farmers due to the wide distribution of their outlets.
“We believe that with the coming in of the three companies, selling of inputs will highly pick up across the country, a development that will enhance this year’s crop production, let alone food security,” Lungu said.
Lungu said, so far, Afriventure has sold 4,836 metric tonnes while Paramount Commodities and Chipiku Stores have sold over 2,000 metric tonnes each.
Farmers Union of Malawi President Frighton Njolomole lauded the development, saying it was long overdue as rains have already begun.
Njolomole, however, said government should make sure that dispatching happens quickly and reaches all corners of the country.
“We are happy with these developments but we want to ask government to make sure that dispatching of the fertiliser they have bought should be quick because the rains, though late, are here,” Njolomole said.
Agriculturalists and farmers have described this year’s AIP as the worst since the programme began as it has been marred with hitches causing a failure to hit 50 percent of distribution by December.
The Tonse Alliance-led government increased the number of AIP beneficiaries from 900,000 households to 3.7 million households in order to improve food security.
Justin Mkweu is a fast growing reporter who currently works with Times Group on the business desk.
He is however flexible as he also writes about current affairs and national issues.