Minister of Agriculture Kondwani Nankhumwa has advised beneficiaries of the Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) to use their coupons for intended purposes.
Nankhumwa was speaking during the launch at Merowe Primary School in Phalombe. Distribution of the coupons started immediately after the launch.
The minister warned the beneficiaries that selling the coupons is the same as selling their own right to food.
“Let me urge the beneficiaries to use the inputs purposefully otherwise the government intended goal of attaining food self-sufficiency would remain a dream,” he said.
Nankhumwa also advised traditional leaders to lead by example and be the first to desist from malpractices associated with the programme saying government will not shield anyone found involved in malpractice.
“Please report anyone involved in the malpractices to the Malawi Police or the Anti-corruption Bureau so that necessary measures can be taken against the culprits. In this regard, we have a toll free number ‘60606’ under Airtel that you can use to report any suspicious activity taking place under the programmed,” he advised.
This year, the ministry has awarded contracts to 57 private suppliers and two Public Institutions – ADMARC and SFFRFM – making a total of 59. The ministry has inserted in every supplier’s contract clauses that seeks to protect FISP.
During the launch, Nankhumwa warned the fertilizer and seed suppliers against buying coupons from the beneficiaries.
“This is unethical. This malpractice will not be tolerated this year and I will not hesitate to terminate the contract for those that will be caught doing so.
“In addition, payment to each input supplier will be based on actual input sold and verified by the ministry. This is my stern warning to all the contracted suppliers, do the right thing and you will get paid without any problems,” he said.
Under the programme this year, government will provide 90,000 Metric Tonnes (MT) of fertilizer of which 45,000 MT is NPK and 45,000 MT is Urea.
There will also be 4,500 MT of maize seed, 30 MT of Sorghum seed and 5 MT of Rice seed as well as over 900 MT legume seeds for soya bean, beans, ground nuts, cowpeas and pigeon peas.
The programme targets 900, 000 beneficiaries with each beneficiary receiving one 50 Kg bag of NPK; one 50 Kg bag of Urea; a pack of either 5Kg maize seed or 7Kg Sorghum or 7kg of Rice seed and; a pack of either 1Kg (Groundnut /beans) or 2 Kg pack of soya bean/Pigeon peas/cow peas seed).