Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Ulemu Chilapondwa has condemned some farmers for selling fertiliser coupons for the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) to vendors.
Chilapondwa said this on Wednesday during the launch of innovative project to prevent stunting among children.
The programme was launched by World Food Programme (WFP) in Ntchisi.
Chilapondwa said: “We have been complaining that vendors are buying subsidised fertilisers. But these vendors do not bring fake coupons at the selling point; they bring genuine coupons; hence, this means farmers sell them coupons. This should stop if we want to achieve food security in the country.”
Chilapondwa said Fisp is crucial because it helps farmers to harvest adequate food which can help them to fight against stunting among children.
“Let’s put Fisp coupons to right use so that the harvested food can help children to be healthy and avoid stunting,” said Chilapondwa, who was guest of honour at the launch.
Meanwhile, Mulanje National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust Nice district civic education officer Twambilire Mwabungulu said yesterday that the office has discovered more challenges in the Fisp.
He said among them, was that chiefs used subordinates to register people resulting in more relatives benefiting and the intended ones missing out.
“As an organisation one of whose thematic areas is transparency and accountability, Mulanje Nice deployed monitors in the district’s Fisp’s markets.
“The monitors have been in the markets since November last year,” he said.
He said in other areas, clerks were demanding money from beneficiaries to access farm inputs fast and buy.
Mwabungulu also claimed that since the start of the process started, various community leaders and some Admarc officials were abusing the programme.
Since Fisp was introduced during the reign of former president, the late Bingu wa Mutharika, the exercise has faced more challenges and several people were arrested.