State House downplays concerns over conflicting statements on AIP


State House has downplayed concerns over conflicting statements from Minister of Agriculture and President Lazarus Chakwera on the Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP).

This morning during the State House brief, Director of Communications at State House, Sean Kampondeni, spoke about the contradictions in the statements from the two.

The Ministry of Agriculture announced in July that the number AIP beneficiaries would be reduced from 3.8 million farmers to 2.7 million farmers.

In August, President Chakwera maintained that no farmer would be removed from the programme.

According to Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI), Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe told the organization on September 2 that it is not possible to maintain the initial beneficiaries’ list, unless Cabinet pushes Treasury to make available additional resources for the programme which this year has been allocated K142 billion.

But Kampondeni has said the contradictions are not a cause for concern since there is no contradiction in terms policy.

“What matters are not the Minister’s public statements and how they are interpreted by people, what matters is what is the policy being implemented to serve Malawians.

“And when you look at the policy of Government with regard to AIP beneficiaries and how it will be rolled out, the Government of Malawi under the leadership of President Chakwera is in sync,” said Kampondeni.

Kampondeni also said during the briefing that President Chakwera is currently holding discussions with his administration find solutions on high fertilizer prices and the sustainability of AIP.

He added that the Chakwera administration will release a statement on what has been resolved to guarantee affordable farmers inputs for farmers and the statement will be released before the start of the growing season.