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Government engages Mozambique on subsidy imports

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Sidik Mia

Minister of Transport, Sidik Mia, last week engaged his Mozambican counterpart and port authorities in that country to consider prioritisation and smooth flow of fertiliser meant for the Affordable Input Programme (AIP) in transit from Beira to Nacala Ports into Malawi.

Mia told journalists Monday that the request was made as the government delayed in commencing the programme implementation.

Figures he provided show that out of the 430,000 metric tonnes meant to be distributed under the programme, about over 170,000 metric tonnes is already in the country.

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He said more than 100,000 tonnes of fertiliser would have been imported through the two routes within the next few weeks.

Among other agreements, Mia said Mozambique has assured Malawi of the prioritisation of docking vessels and offloading fertiliser, speed up clearance of all types of documents, extending of border operating hours and improve on security to reduce loss through theft.

He said this would help fast-track implementation of the programme.

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“The main reason we had gone to Mozambique is to speed up free flow of fertiliser. We did not have enough time to prepare but we have agreed that there would be able to move more tonnes before the final set of the rains through Beira and Nacala ports.

“We have discussed at length with the facilitators, as well as transport and port operators, who have shown commitment to help accordingly,” Mia said.

Central and East Africa Railways (Cear) Director, Gustavo Stein, said in an interview that the company is working with the government in managing the logistic side of the process.

“We have increased our capacity to ensure smooth and fast flow of the fertilizer as agreed with the government,” he said.

Through the AIP, the government intends to distribute 430,000 metric tonnes of affordable fertiliser to 4.2 million households in the country.

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