Blantyre North MP Francis Phiso on Tuesday expressed concern that despite some areas receiving the first rains, government has not yet completed distributing Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) coupons, a situation that has led to farmers in these areas failing to access the cheap fertiliser and seeds for planting.
In his supplementary question to Minister of Agriculture Professor Peter Mwanza during question time, Phiso said the delay has also led to farmers in the concerned areas planting recycled seeds.
â€œIn my area, which includes Lirangwe and Mdeka, we have not started receiving the coupons, forcing people to plant old seeds which are not supposed to be recycled,â€ he said.
MP for Mwanza North Paul Chibingu asked the minister to explain what government is doing to ensure that those who do not qualify for the coupons have easy access to commercial fertiliser.
Chibingu said there is no fertiliser for sale in most Admarc markets.
In his response, Mwanza said the coupon distribution exercise has not yet been finalised and that his ministry will ensure that the process is speeded up, especially in areas like Blantyre North where rains have already started.
On the commercial fertiliser, Mwanza said Admarc has not provided the fertiliser due to funding problems, but indicated that many commercial outlets apart from Admarc are selling the fertiliser in different parts of the country.