Malawi on Tuesday took delivery of the last batch of coupons to enable 812 100 beneficiaries to redeem inputs under the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) in the Central and Northern regions.
Delayed delivery of coupons as well as the arrangement to start with the Southern Region last week raised some controversy from both members of Parliament (MPs) and civil society organisations (CSOs) who said the decision was poor and lacked basis in the face of climate change.
In a related development, government says it has finalised the process of identifying Fisp beneficiaries in 27 of the country’s 28 districts. Dowa is still under assessment.
Osborne Tsoka, Fisp deputy coordinator in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, confirmed both developments and said the dispatch is even quicker.
He said in an interview: “We know we are against time, that is why we have people distributing the coupons in all the two regions. As we are talking, some people are already transporting the coupons in all the remaining districts.
“As for beneficiary identification, we are remaining with Dowa and I am sure by Thursday morning [today] the exercise will be complete.”
In a separate interview, Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Allan Chiyembekeza said he was not worried about civil society description of this year’s programme as chaotic.
He said he has always been optimistic that it would work out eventually.
Last week, government received the first batch of Fisp coupons which were meant for 687 900 beneficiaries in the Southern Region. n