Government says it will provide free fertilizer and hybrid seed to 100,000 Malawians under the K38.4 billion Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP).
Minister of Finance Joseph Mwanamvekha revealed this when he presented the K2 trillion 2020/2021 budget in Parliament on Friday.
“The free farm inputs will be given to the most vulnerable people in our communities such as the elderly, child-headed families and people with disabilities,” he said
The Farm Input Subsidy Program will also target 900,000 farm families with each farmer receiving a coupon to buy a 50-kilogram bag of fertilizer at K5,000
In the 2020/2021 fiscal budget, K10 billion has been allocated for maize purchases by the National Food Reserve Agency and ADMARC to restock the Strategic Grain Reserve.
“The restocking of the SGR is already underway using resources from the 2019/2020 fiscal year. In addition, a total of US$8.4 million, which is equivalent to K6.3 billion from the World Bank is also available for maize purchase,” said Mwanamvekha.
He added that Government’s target is to stock 220,000 metric tons of maize in the Strategic Grain Reserve which is the minimum requirement for the SGR.
Government will also allow ADMARC to borrow from financial institutions to purchase additional maize stock, cotton and legumes. Mwanamvekha said the amount to be borrowed will be based on assessed financial capacity of ADMARC to repay.
The K38 billion for FISP and K10 billion for maize purchase are part of the K99.9 billion which has been allocated to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in the 2020/2021 fiscal year.