Malawi Government has ordered a fresh round of registration of beneficiaries of the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) following reports of fraud in an earlier exercise.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Ulemu Chilapondwa said this on Wednesday at Kanyenda Primary School in Ntchisi South Constituency where he donated bags of cement.
During the ceremony, some village heads complained that despite the increase in the number of beneficiaries in Fisp, in most villages the number of beneficiaries was reduced.
Â â€œIn my village last year, we had 24 people receiving coupons, but this year the list says only 21 will receive,â€ said group village head Kanyenda.
But Chilapondwa said the ministry’s investigations discovered that fake villages and farming families bloated the list of beneficiaries.
â€œI invited the district agricultural development officers to Lilongwe recently where we discussed the issues. Almost all districts had fake villages, but Ntcheu, Kasungu, Mangochi and Ntchisi stood out. Imagine, how can there be a 14 percent increase in farming families in one year in Ntcheu?â€ wondered Chilapondwa.
He allayed fears that the registration exercise would delay distribution, after government also earlier quashed the initial suppliersâ€™ tender applications, Chilapondwa said the exercise could be finished in a week or two.
Government selected 27 companies out of 47 bidders to supply the fertiliser.
Meanwhile, Mulli Brothers, one of the companies which were left out, said they did not quote high prices and wondered why they were not considered.
Said Leston Mulli, Mulli Brothers Limited managing director, in a telephone interview: â€œWe may have failed to win a tender because of perhaps where we come from.â€Â