House committee demands accountability on AIP funds


By Isaac Salima:

The parliamentary Committee on Agriculture has urged the Ministry of Agriculture to account for K109 billion that was allocated for this year’s Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP).

Members of Parliament said this when they visited Smallholder Farmers Fertiliser Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM) at Chirimba Depot in Blantyre to check on the quantity of fertiliser that is available.


Committee chairperson Sameer Suleman said the government has only managed to buy 30,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser.

He said the government should shed light on what it has done with about K75 billion collected from farmers’ contributions for fertiliser purchase.

“We know how much was allocated to this programme because it is us who approved the funds. But the programme is a mess this year. We came here on a fact-finding mission but we have learnt that there is no fertiliser and trucks are just packed waiting for fertiliser,” Suleman said.


He said, should the government fail to shed light on the issue, they will not approve this year’s allocations to AIP.

The committee also claimed that donated fertilisers from Russia and World Food Programme have high concentration of nitrogen of up to 27 percent while the country’s soil is suitable for nitrogen of not more than 23 percent.

Agriculture Minister Sam Kawale and Principal Secretary Dickxie Kampani were both not available to comment on the issue Wednesday.

But Kawale was recently quoted as saying the donated fertiliser will be blended to reduce its nitrogen concentration to suit the country’s soil type.

He said the fertiliser was not meant to be used in Malawi, hence the high nitrogen concentration.

SFFRFM Board Chairperson Majorie Maluwa Phiri assured Malawians that the fertiliser that is available will be distributed to beneficiaries.

“Fertilisers we are receiving are being dispatched to all areas in the region,” Phiri said.

Recently, some MPs from the Southern Region camped at SFFRFM depot at Chirimba, demanding the release of fertiliser to their constituencies.

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