Traditional leaders in Nkhatabay have claimed that government’s delay to distribute subsidy fertilizer will lead to more hunger in the district.
The chiefs said government is yet to distribute the farm inputs even though the names of beneficiaries were already submitted to authorities.
This is happening at a time the farming season has already begun in most parts of the district.
Speaking in an interview, senior group village headman Mbaya Mphande of Chitheka village located to the west of Nkhatabay, said they have no hope that they will have access to subsidy fertilizer this year.
“This is the reason I have urged my subjects to start buying fertilizer with their money because government is proving to be unreliable. We tried to send them names but till now, nothing is cooking up from them,” he said.
The same sentiments were shared by village headman Muyangala of Kang’oma in the same district who feared his subjects might be subjected to serious food shortage next year.
He said most of his subjects being poor will not manage to buy fertilizer at a very expensive price thus they will cultivate without fertilizer.
“This will result into low yields. Obviously, we will suffer another hunger next year. This is very stressing,” he said.
Village headman Chokopeke Mkorongo of Chintheche added his stress on the issue while urging authorities to do something urgently.
But some sources told Malawi24 that government will not distribute subsidy fertilizer to residents of Nkhatabay district this year.
Though this publication could not independently confirm the claims, government is believed to have abandoned the people of Nkhatabay in as far as fertilizer subsidy is concerned because the district is already suitable for cassava farming.
Several efforts to hear government’s version of the story proved futile as Minister of Agriculture George Chaponda was not available for comment.