The government is set to spend K40 billion on blending 10,000 metric tonnes (mt) of fertiliser which Morocco donated for use in the 2022- 23 Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP).
Morocco has donated 10,000mt to Malawi, to which the government will add its 42,000mt in form of blending.
Apart from Morocco, the World Food Programme donated 20,000mt while the World Bank has donated another 20,000mt, bringing the total to 92,000mt.
Agriculture Minister Sam Kawale has indicated that all the 92mt will be sold under AIP.
His explanation was in response to a question from Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa, who demanded answers to reports that the government wants to sell the donated commodity.
Kawale emphasised to journalists that all the donors were aware that the fertiliser they have provided is meant for AIP use.
“All the donors were donating to AIP and knew exactly what AIP is all about. They know everything about contributions [beneficiaries make] to the AIP. There is nothing fishy; there is nothing secretive,” Kawale said.
The minister also indicated that he would come up with a ministerial statement on AIP in Parliament today.
“We are going to unbundle everything just to give Malawians the true picture of what the AIP initiative is all about this year,” he told reporters Wednesday.
Nankhumwa claimed in Parliament that the number of beneficiaries has been reduced in some parts of the country but increased in some parts of the Central Region.
“We, as members of Parliament, have a lot of questions because there are conflicting figures. High on the agenda is the fact that the government has, ironically, received a donation of some 10,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser.
“This was a donation but the government is putting it [the fertiliser] on the market. It will be sold. The question is why are they selling donated items?
President Lazarus Chakwera is expected to launch the AIP programme at Lobi in Dedza District this weekend.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.