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Peter Mutharika stuck on Fisp corruption

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Poor villagers who are beneficiaries of this year’s Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) will be subjected to corruption and chaos in the implementation of the programme and President Peter Mutharika is helpless on the matter.

Already the Malawi Police Service has warned that the programme will be marred by corruption as government has given private companies the mandate to implement Fisp.

Poor Malawians are also expected to be subjected to varying prices of the inputs because they will have to pay a difference of a coupon value and commercial prices which will vary according to companies in their respective districts.

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Asked on Friday at a news conference at Kamuzu Palace on whether there was anything government would do to ensure that poor villagers are protected from the corruption and varied prices that is expected in the Fisp implementation, Mutharika sounded helpless.

“I know Fisp is a problem. We have tried teachers, religious leaders, the police to fight corruption [in Fisp] but it has not worked. Now what do you want me to do? I ask people to be patriotic. We are doing our best to end corruption,” Mutharika said.

Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development said on October 3 this year that government will not procure farm inputs in the 2016/2017 Fisp but instead companies including Admarc will take over the procurement and distribution processes of the inputs.

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Chaponda said out of the 90,000 metric tonnes, 54,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser will be retailed by private companies.

He said the Ministry will only fix the coupon value and suppliers will have to offer competitive prices that farmers will have to pay to get the inputs.

The coupon value for a 50 kilogramme bag of fertiliser is pegged at K15,000 while a four or five kilogramme packet of hybrid maize seed is at K5,000 and K2,500 for legume seeds.

“This means that a farmer will have to pay a difference of a coupon value and commercial prices which will vary according to companies in their respective districts,” said Chaponda.

Deputy Inspector General of Police, Rodney Jose, warned last week that there would be a lot of corruption in this year’s Fisp because of the involvement of the private companies to do the implementation of the programme as it leaves out the police.

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