Malawi engages Mozambique over fertilizer

Minister of Agriculture Sam Kawale and Minister of Transport Jacob Hara travelled to Mozambique where they engaged Mozambique Government officials to coordinate the delivery of fertilizer to Malawi amid a fertilizer procurement scandal in Malawi that has affected implementation of the Affordable Inputs Program.

The two ministers also met Port officials, fertilizer companies, logistics companies, warehouse managers, and railway companies.

Hara and Kawale are part of a cabinet Task Force on the Affordable Inputs Programs (AIP) whose goal is to identify fertilizer, procure, and make sure this year’s AIP is successful.

Writing on his Facebook Page, Kawale said they discussed how the Port should get Malawi’s fertilizer off ships quickly so that it is transported to Malawi.

They also conducted physical inspection of the port and witnessing the offloading of the fertilizer destined for Malawi.

The ministers further visited warehouses where fertilizer for Malawi was being stored, bagged, and shipped before meeting with the company that is tasked to transport the fertilizer to Malawi.

According to Kawale, they managed to negotiate that the 10,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer from Morocco, which will be blended to make 52,000 metric tones of NPK, be offloaded quickly and be sent to Malawi.

He added that they also negotiated that the remaining 15,000 MT out of the 30,000 MT of fertilizer be offloaded a few days earlier than scheduled. As we speak, all the fertilizer was offloaded much easier than scheduled.

“We managed to negotiate with the company tasked to package the fertilizer into 50kg bags to work overtime to deliver fertilizer on time. As we speak, the packaging is happening 24/7 and in two warehouses.

“We managed to discuss with the Mozambique Government to help out expedite customs related issues so that our trucks move fast. As we speak, the trucks are moving into Malawi as smoothly as they possibly can. It might not be 100% perfect, but we are making great progress.

“We managed to discuss with the Mozambique government of a possible Trains without borders agreement. As we speak, Hon. Jacob Hara will finish the negotiations and sign an agreement that will see trains go through Nacara Corridor and Sena Corridors without glitches,” he wrote.

This comes following revelations that Malawi Government has been defrauded out of K750 million which was paid to a United Kingdom meat company for the procurement fertilizer.

The payment, which was done without following procedures has led to the firing of Lobin Lowe as Minister of Agriculture and Sandram Maweru as Secretary of Agriculture.

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