Communities in Mzuzu have asked government to introduce universal subsidy of farm inputs.
Mzuzu Basic Needs Action Group chairperson Master Katete made the call on Friday during a Right to Food and Access to Social Services meeting Centre for Social Concern (CfSC) organised.
He noted that the current Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp)is benefitting few individuals.
“So, there is need for universal subsidy on farm inputs to enable everyone access seeds and fertilisers at a cheap price. We fail to achieve food security because of high cost of fertilisers and other farm inputs,” he said.
Katete said people are failing to buy maize at K500 per kilogramme.
CfSC project officer Tango Phiri agreed with Katete that her organisation has noted that most Malawians are failing to access farm inputs.
“Most Malawians are starving. They have no right to food because they are failing to access maize. One of the contributing factors is high prices of farm inputs,” she said.
In the 2019/20 season, 900 000 people benefited from Fisp budgeted at K35.5 billion.
However, a 2019 Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Mvac) report indicated that about 1.8 million Malawians are facing hunger.
A survey conducted by CfSC on basic needs basket indicated that on average, a bag of maize costs K22 000.
The survey also found out that the cost of living in the country has risen by 8.7 percent due to food price increase and that a family of six needs K209 460 to survive in a month, a rise from K194 484 per month in 2019.