MPs grill Malawi government over Fisp, hunger


Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture yesterday summoned the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development to get an update on Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) and hunger situation in the country.

The committee, among others, sought answers from the Ministry on what it is doing to deal with irregularities in this farming season’s Fisp.

Chairperson of the Committee, Felix Jumbe, said the Ministry is being engaged as one way of providing oversight to its operations.


“On the issue of hunger, we would like to have first hand information from the Ministry what is happening on the ground. Government has been saying that nobody will die of hunger. What exactly is on the ground to show that nobody is really going to die of hunger? That’s what we wanted to find out from government,” Jumbe said.

On Fisp, the MPs highlighted some irregularities in this season’s programme.

“There are a number of irregularities in the programme. In some areas, you find that on the list of beneficiaries are children under the age of five. Some civil servants are also benefiting from the programme. There are a number of flaws in terms of identification of beneficiaries,” Jumbe said.


He added: “Another classical example is what MP for Blantyre Rural East [Susan Ndalama] said in the meeting. She said she was surprised to find her name on the list of beneficiaries.”

Secretary for Agriculture, Erica Maganga, said government has said it values, such meetings as they help in finding ways of improving implementation of its programmes.

“They have provided us with feedback on the way we are implementing Farm Input Subsidy Programme, which is very good feedback for me. When you are implementing programmes at Capital Hill, you don’t know what’s happening on the ground. They have given us a lot of feedback on what is working and what is not working on the ground,” Maganga said.

At the meeting, it was agreed that the committee and officials from the Ministry will go to the ground to also help monitor the programme.

The committee has dedicated this week to engage the Ministry and other stakeholders in the agriculture sector.

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