The Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture has expressed dissatisfaction with how some suppliers have operated in the just-ended 2017/2018 Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp).
Chairperson of the Committee Joseph Chidanti- Malunga Wednesday said some companies have failed to supply in their allocated districts creating a situation that forced many farmers to sell their coupons.
“Some of the suppliers have let us down by not going into the areas that they were designated to supply. We have cases in Machinga and Mangochi where suppliers have not been able to supply. We have also Chikwawa and many parts of the Shire Valley [where suppliers did no supply all inputs]. Because of the situation they created, some vendors were actually going to buy coupons from beneficiaries,” he said
In the last Fisp, 14 companies were contracted to supply farm inputs across the country Chidanti-Malunga said the committee would also recommend removal of such companies from participating in the 2018/2019 programmes as it was the case in the just-ended programme.
“We also heard about this in the last farming season when we were doing recommendations for this year’s programme. We strongly talked against that. We said such suppliers must not participate in this year’s programme and in fact the screening of this year’s suppliers actually carried out that as a condition. We will do the same with those companies involved,” he said
He said stakeholders involved have managed to be vigilant, a development that led to the arrest of some people involved in any form of fraud.
Over 900,000 farmers were earmarked to benefit in the 2016/2017 Fisp programme.
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