Nankhumwa calls out Govt over AIP delay

Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa says it is unacceptable for government to be telling people to not worry about the Affordable Inputs Program (AIP) considering that rains have already started in the country.

Nankhumwa said this on Thursday at the August House following a ministerial statement on AIP presented by Minister of Agriculture Sam Kawale.

He noted that government is telling people to not worry about the delay of the K180 billion cheap fertilizer program.

He, however, argued that issues that are involving the AIP should be addressed very quickly considering that there is no time left and government should know that.

“As I am talking now, most parts of the southern region have rains, people have already planted without any fertilizer on side. We are going to wait for the implementation of the AIP which is this Saturday and after the implementation, this issue will come back again in this August House,” he said.

Nankhumwa further said that during the debate on AIP yesterday, Members of Parliament complained that there is huge reduction in number of beneficiaries in the Southern and Eastern regions while there is an increase in beneficiaries in the Central Region.

He said the Minister need to clarify on such issues.

He further said said that the minister is also required to give an explanation of how they they are going to sell Maize following the closure of Admarc depots because they do not know how they will be selling the Maize.

Under the AIP, each beneficiary is earmarked to access a 50 kg bag of NPK; a 50 kg bag of Urea; either 5 kg of maize seed or 5 kg of sorghum or 5 kg of rice seed, depending on the farmers preference. The Ministry will also provide a chance for some livestock beneficiaries to access two (2) female goats in Balaka and Rumphi districts.

Beneficiaries are expected to pay K15,000 per 50kg bag of fertilizer while government will be contributing K50,000 per bag.

The program will be launched tomorrow in Dedza by President Lazarus Chakwera.