Ministry of Agriculture says it will use the existing families’ database in implementing the Affordable Input Programme which will see about 4.2 million farming households benefiting from the K4 900 per 50 kilogramme(kg) bag of fertiliser.
Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe said this on Friday when he visited Karonga Agriculture Development Division to appreciate initiatives being undertaken to improve food security and farmers’ welfare in Karonga.
He expressed concern that some village heads and area development committees were allegedly registering families for the programme.
“It is unfortunate that some families are requested to pay money to get registered. This is not on as the programme will use the existing families’ database,” said Lowe.
He said it was expected that each family will harvest 32 bags of maize weighing 50kg each from an acre if they use two bags of fertiliser and apply good farming practices.
“We will empower Agriculture Development Marketing Corporation [Admarc] to start buying maize from farmers in time,” said Lowe.
Karonga District Council chairperson Steve Simsokwe appealed to the ministry to provide good accommodation and transport to agriculture extension workers.
“These people are hard workers, but they lack vehicles to use for theirfield work,” he said.
The minister, who was accompanied by his deputy Agnes Nkusa Nkhoma, toured Timoti Irrigation Scheme, Wowve Rice Irrigation Scheme and Ighembe Women’s Rice Producers and Marketing Cooperative.