It has emerged that this year’s Farm Input Subsidy Program (Fisp) has been marked with delays in distribution of fertilizer in almost all Admarc depots in the country.
Government has admitted that it is facing challenges with logistics despite that the planting season is drawing close.
And speaking to Malawi24, Chairperson for Agriculture committee in Parliament, Felix Jumbe blamed the change in management of the program as the reason for the inefficiencies.
He said people who are in the program are new and they don’t have technical knowledge on how to implement the program.
The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) lawmaker said people in the implementation have brought in ideas that are not conforming to requirements of the project.
He said: “The biggest problem is the high level of inefficiency in the Ministry of Agriculture. Subsidy is not a new program and budget was passed and everything was put in place,” said Jumbe.
The Salima Central MP warned that the failure to speed up the project will cause a chaotic situation as far as farming is concerned.
He said the country will be burdened with import bills and this will lead to price for non-conformance to requirements.
“The impact is very negative because it may end up in chaotic situation where people will have no inputs and the waiting alone is a waste of time to them. If fertilizer distribution is done late people might fail to use it for the intended purpose,” stated Jumbe.
Fisp was introduced by late Bingu wa Mutharika in 2005 to improve national food security and uplift the productivity of smallholder farmers after several years of drought brought poor harvests.
Now more than 200,000 Malawian farmers depend on government subsidies to grow enough food to feed their families.
The project’s backbone is crippling after donors pulled out over concerns of poor governance and economic mismanagement by government.
During the 2010/11 farming season 1.6 million farmers received vouchers to buy the heavily subsidised fertilizer and maize seed, costing government and donors K23 billion.