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Agriculture Minister Lobin Lowe Asked to Resign For ‘Messing Up’ AIP

File: Agriculture Minister Lobin Lowe briefing Chakwera during AIP launch in Zomba

A strong call has gone to Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe to ‘voluntarily’ step down as a Minister for messing up the much touted Tonse Alliance’s Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP).

A fearless social media influencer and commentator Rhodney Salamu made the call recently in a video clip being shared among social media users across the nation, and Malawians leaving abroad.

The call follows announcement by Minister Lowe to increase fertilizer prices under AIP from MK4, 500 to MK7, 500 per 50 kilogram bag, which according to Salamu it’s a ‘mockery’ to ‘poor’ farmers in the village.

Salamu also accused Lowe of contradicting his pay master President Lazarus Chakwera over the number of AIP beneficiaries in which he was quoted saying government intend to reduce the beneficiaries by 1 Million which Chakwera said government will maintain the number. 

In less than 5 minutes video clip made available to the publication, the fearless activist Salamu said Malawians depend much in agriculture and raising the prices of fertilizer is same creating hunger in the country.

“Raising the prices of fertilizer under the AIP is as same as creating hunger for the nation.

We are all aware that as a country we depend in agriculture for survival as the nation and what is happening under the Ministry of Agriculture is playing with people’s lives,” said Salamu, while asking Lowe to step down.

Salamu: Government is creating hunger

President Chakwera recently said: “Price increase in the AIP is as a result of the global increase in prices. We thought the best way was to maintain the number of beneficiaries than reducing them so that more people should benefit.”

On this the activist Salamu said government should stop using global prices of fertilizer as an ‘escape goat’ saying the President should find other means of reducing the price of fertilizer by among others removing tax on fertilizer.

Commenting on the raise of prices for cooking oil and other essential commodities, Salamu said Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe and Minister of Industry Sosten Gwengwe owe Malawians an explanation.

He said last growing season, the country was over the moon for producing surplus soya beans which could have been used for producing cooking oil thereby selling it at a ‘very’ lower price but the two ministries resorted in selling soya beans outside the country. 

“The two ministers are sleeping on duty, they agreed to export soya beans without thinking of the problems it will have on poor Malawians, now we are saying cooking oil  prices going up day in day out,” said Salamu adding that ‘poor’ Malawians are the one struggling over ‘selfish’ decision by the two ministers.

On Wednesday, the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) cleared cooking oil manufacturers and closed investigations on cooking oil price increases by between 30 and 42 percent at the commencement of the investigations.

CFTC Acting Executive Director, Apoche Itimu, told the press that the investigations found justifiable reasons to raise retail prices, citing the 66.7 percent increase of prices of the imported crude palm oil which is refined into some of the cooking oil sold locally.

The exchange rate losses by 7 percent, electricity and fuel price increases by 10 and 8 percent, respectively, and the rising prices of soya beans also contributed to the cost of production of the cooking oil.

However, the CFTC has since urged Ministry of Trade to make executive measures that can contain the price increases.

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Rhodney Salamu– is a social media influencer and commentator based at Monkey Bay in Mangochi district. He uses social media platforms to comment on various issues affecting the country.

Contact Details:

Phone: +265991394800

Email:rodanysalam@outlook.com

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