Chakwera Warns Affordable Inputs Programme Suppliers

By Glory Msowoya

Chakwera being briefed about the program and visits pavilions at Pilimiti boys primary school in Zomba-(c) Abel Ikiloni, Mana

Blantyre, October 17, Mana: President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has warned unscrupulous suppliers that might want to be involved in corruption acts in this year’s Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP).

He made the remarks on Saturday during the launch of the AIP at Pirimiti Boys Primary School ground in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Mwambo in Zomba.

The President urged all suppliers to follow all terms and conditions of their contracts.

“Corruption is unethical. This malpractice will not be tolerated in this programme and my government will not hesitate to terminate the contract for those that will be caught doing so.Let us all work together despite this programme being a brain child of government,” Chakwera said.

“Reaching this far as Malawians,we should change our mindset of trying to benefit more from government programmes at the expense of the poor. Let us transform this country together,” he added.

Minister of Agriculture, Lobin Lowe advised beneficiaries of the AIP to use the inputs for intended purpose.

He said that the purchase of the commodities started immediately after the launch in some districts.

“I am calling on farmers expected to benefit from this programme not to sell the inputs because doing so is like selling their own right to food.

“Beneficiaries should use the inputs purposefully otherwise government’s intended goal of attaining food self-sufficiency at household and national levels would remain a dream,” Lowe said.

This year, the Ministry of Agriculture cleared some 87 companies to start supplying low-priced fertilizer to subsistence farmers in the new AIP.

The AIP targets 4.2 million smallholder farmers with each beneficiary receiving one 50 kgs bag of NPK; one 50 kgs bag of UREA; a pack of either 5kgs maize seed or 7kgssorghum or 7kgsof rice.

Under the programme farmers are expected to pay K4, 495.00 for a bag of fertilizer and K2, 000 per pack of cereal seed.

In the 2020/2021 National Budget, government allocated K160 billion for the AIP.

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