Members of Parliament (MPs) on Tuesday expressed dissatisfaction over the way government is progressing on the 2015/16 Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) which is currently facing logistical hiccups.
Reacting to President Peter Mutharika’s opening address of Parliament delivered last Friday, Mchinji North East MP Alex Chitete (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) said the delays in dispatching inputs will have adverse effects on this year’s farming season.
He said: “We are aware that there are currently no coupons and fertiliser is just idle in depots despite the rains falling in some parts of the country.”
Chitete also described the identification and selection of beneficiaries as a sham, claiming that most people will be left out due to corruption.
Dedza North MP Patrick Chilondora (MCP) also expressed concern over the delays in issuing coupons and the continued reliance on agro dealers to supply seed.
He told Parliament that some agro-dealers are not represented in some remote areas, thereby denying access to smallholder farmers.
Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Allan Chiyembekeza has attributed the delays to depreciation of the kwacha which reduced buying power.
However, the minister said he is optimistic that all will be well as coupons are in their final stages and will be distributed in a matter of days. n