About 45 percent of fertilisers required for Farm Inputs Subsidy Programme (Fisp) have been accessed by farmers in the country, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has said.
The ministry’sspokesperson Hamilton Chimala told Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Thursday thatfarm inputs are being retailed by private companies that are contracted bygovernment and that so far, the exercise has achieved positive results.
“The distribution exercise is progressing well. So far, the ministry through Fisp has made available 45 percent of fertilisers such as 23:10:5+6S+1.0Zn, and Urea to farmers.
“This is because the ministry had to sit down with supplies before the commencement of the distribution exercise to not only supply the inputs in towns and trading centres but also in hard-to-reach areas to cater for all farmers,” he said.
However, Chimala said the amount to be accessed will increase because as the farming season progresses, the demand for the input is likely to peak.
Currently, according to Chimala, the ministry, in conjunction with the police, is still conducting spot-checks in depots where the Fisp distribution exercise is being conducted to ensure sanity as well as efficiency of the exercise.
“The behaviour by local leaders demanding to receive coupons on behalf of their subjects has not been entertained this year,” he said, adding: “Moreover, monitoring of the programme is being done at all levels”.
Government launched this year’s Fisp in September and targets one million farmers. Each farmer receives coupons for two bags of fertiliser, maize seed and legume seed.