Mulli Brothers Limited (MBL) has bounced back as one of the dominant players in the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp)—two years after the People’s Party (PP) administration directed all departments and ministries to stop doing business with the company.
The governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of President Peter Mutharika reversed the directive barely three months after assuming power.
Government issued a memo dated August 22 2014 and addressed to all government institutions in which it stated that the ban against Mulli was no longer in force as it had been the subject of costly litigation on government’s part.
Mulli Brothers is owned by Leston Mulli and family, a known DPP sympathiser and close ally of former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika.
MBL, which virtually controlled supply of the subsidised farm inputs during late Bingu’s administration, has now returned as one of the major suppliers alongside the parastatal, Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) and Transglobe Produce Exports Limited. The other one is Export Trading Company Limited.
According to a list of successful companies released by the Smallholder Farmers Fertiliser Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM), a government agency appointed to handle the fertiliser component of Fisp, 22 companies have been awarded contracts to supply 77 503 tonnes of subsidised fertiliser in the 2014/2015 programme.
Of the 150 000 tonnes of fertiliser required for this year’s programme, MBL will supply 6 000 tonnes costing $3 974 000 (about K2 billion)—which is about eight percent of the required quantity—just like Export Trading Company Limited and Krish Trading Limited. Transglobe will supply 6 920 tonnes while Admarc will supply 6 732 tonnes.
SFFRFM will supply 20 percent (30 000 tonnes) of the stocks costing about K10 billion while 42 497 tonnes will come from the Malawi Rural Development Fund (Mardef) and Farm Input Loan Programme (Filp).
This year’s programme, to cost about K50 billion from last year’s K60 billion, is set to benefit some 1.5 million smallholder Malawians.