1.5 million farmers to benefit from 2023 AIP

Minister of Agriculture Sam Kawale and Minister of Information Moses Kunkuyu speaking at a press briefing in Lilongwe

The Ministry of Agriculture says 1.5 million farmers will benefit from the 2023 Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) in which the farmers will be buying a bag of fertilizer at K15,000.

The Minister responsible, Sam Kawale, in the company of the Minister of Information and Digitalization Moses Kunkuyu said this during a press briefing at Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM) warehouses at Kanengo in Lilongwe, on the rolling out of the AIP.

He said 1.49 million farming households will each access a 50 Kilogram bag of NPK and Urea fertilizer and 5 kilogrammes of seed and the remaining beneficiary households will buy goats at a subsidised price of K15,000.

“Government has maintained the price of K15,000 per 50 kgs bag of fertilizer to ensure beneficiary farmers access the commodity and each packet of seed has been subsidised with K3,500 and farmers will pay the remaining amount according to the type of seed they choose,” said Kawale.

He added that government has put in place a four segmented beneficiary programme whereby selected farmers will benefit from AIP while elderly people as well as disabled people will be on Social Cash Transfer Programme which is under the Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare.

“People who have no farms will be put in the Smart Public works program and those with big farms will be in the segment of Mega farms,” added Kawale.

According to the Minister, development partners such as the European Union (EU), Japanese Embassy, Irish Aid and more will pump up to 485 billion Kwacha to assist farmers left out in the other programs.

Kawale also announced that the distribution of the AIP inputs has already started.

“We have started distributing the AIP inputs in hard to reach areas of the country and districts like Kasungu, Nkhotakota, Mwanza, Mvera, Khamenya, Nthalire and more have already received the inputs,” he said.

Kawale also stated that the program will be different from last year as mobile vending has been introduced to deal with long queues at Admarc depots and other selling points and after paying for inputs Malawians, will be getting the inputs immediately.

He added that out of 149,000 metric tons of fertilizer needed for the AIP, 16,300 metric tons is the remaining chunk of last year’s AIP, 6,000 metric tons was donated by International Fund for Agriculture Development ( IFAD) and 5, 200 tones was donated by the Government of Japan.

Meanwhile, President Lazarus Chakwera is expected to launch the AIP programme on 20th October, 2023 in Kasungu district at Kavidebwere Primary School.