9 August 2016 Last updated at: 8:42 AM
Fertiliser Subsidy beneficiaries reduced: 600 000 Malawians taken out
The Malawi government has slashed the number of beneficiaries for the Farm Input Subsidy (Fisp) from 1.5 million to 900,000 in the 2016/17 agricultural season.
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Agriculture Hamilton Chimala said the development follows a slash of K17 billion allocation to Fisp program in the 2016/17 budget by the ministry of finance
“In the budget, the minister allocated MK43 billion out of MK60 billion to the program and this will target only nine hundred thousand famers who are poor from rural areas of the country,” said Chimala.
The Malawi Government introduced the large scale national programme in 2005 in order to subsidise agricultural inputs, mainly fertilizer and seeds for maize production.
The program saw smallholder farmers paying for a bag of fertilizer at a very low price while some seeds were being provided for free to citizens.
However, Fisp program became under criticism after some stakeholders deemed it to be unproductive in helping Malawi to be food secure.
Stakeholders argued that the program was not meeting targeted people and it was used as a channel for government officials to pump funds into personal accounts.