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Lazarus Chakwera banks on fertiliser companies

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Lobin Lowe

President Lazarus Chakwera has hinted at the possibility of more manufacturing companies setting shop in Malawi, but indicated that it will take some time for them to become operational.

He further said the country needed more companies that would add value to farm produce so that farmers could fully benefit from their produce.

He said this in Dowa District Thursday, when he held a development rally at the end of a crop inspection tour in the district.

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“Let us manufacture fertiliser here (in Malawi). Some companies have already expressed interest [in setting up shop here] but a fertiliser factory cannot be established in a few months,” Chakwera said.

He said, for the time being, the government had changed the beginning of its financial year from July to April to enable the Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) to start in good time.

Chakwera advised Ministry of Agriculture officials to ensure that farmers get AIP seeds and fertiliser in time.

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The Malawi leader further advised farmers not to sell all their maize so that they could have food all-year round.

Chakwera encouraged all Malawians to work hard in the fields.

Agriculture Minister Lobin Lowe said there was hope that the country would harvest about three million metric tonnes (mt) of maize, of which about 1.1 million would come from Kasungu Agricultural Development Division (ADD).

Districts under Kasungu ADD are Kasungu, Mchinji, Dowa and Ntchisi.

The 2021-22 AIP experienced multiple challenges, including those of delayed availability of fertiliser and devastating storms.

Last year, Malawi harvested over four million mt of maize.

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