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Over Two Million Households Benefit From Affordable Input Program

By Daniel Namwini

File: Poor Malawians waiting for their turn to buy cheap fertilizer

Lilongwe, Mana: Following the official launch of the Affordable Input Program (AIP) on October 17, 2020 at Jali in Zomba District, around 2.9 million households across the country have so far benefited from the program representing 77 percent.

Ministry of Agriculture Spokesperson, Grecian Lungu, confirmed the development in an interview Malawi News Agency (MANA).

 He said since January 4, 2021, the number of fertilizer and seeds selling points has increased from 677 to 1, 407 in order to allow ease of accessing the inputs.

“On fertilizer cumulative sales, NPK has sold 147, 671 MT representing 78 percent, Urea 140, 964 MT representing 74 percent, total fertilizer sales 288, 635 representing 76.2 percent while seed sales are 11,738 MT representing 61.3 percent,” he said.

He disclosed that government has contracted 83 private fertilizer suppliers and two public institutions to supply and retail fertilizer to programme beneficiaries.

It (Government) also has contracted 11 seed suppliers to supply and retail their seed to the targeted beneficiaries.

AIP was introduced by the Tonse Alliance Government under the leadership of President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera to replace the phased out Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) which was introduced by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime.

AIPs goal is to contribute to food security at household and national levels and reduce poverty.

Specifically, the program’s objectives are to achieve food self-sufficiency and increased income of smallholder farmers through increased maize production.

The program would contribute towards increased access to improved inputs by the majority of smallholder farmers and contribute towards addressing low maize productivity and production.

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