Some Social Cash Transfer (SCT) Programme beneficiaries in Rumphi District have complained that they were struck off the list of Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) beneficiaries.
In an interview on Wednesday, Tiwonge Chirambo of Msuka Village in Traditional Authority Mwalweni said since she started receiving SCT in 2018, she has been denied coupons to access cheap fertiliser and seeds.
She said authorities in the area told her that she cannot benefit from both AIP and SCT.
“I receive K24 000 every two months under SCT but it is not enough to buy one bag of fertiliser which costs around K30 000,” Chirambo said.
Another community member Monica Zuranga said she did not receive coupons because she is a beneficiary of SCT.
Nkhando Village Development Committee chairperson Andrew Msiska said the arrangement prevents people from benefiting from two social welfare interventions.
Area Development Committee chairperson Paddington Harawa confirmed that SCT beneficiaries do not benefit from AIP to ensure equitable distribution of such resources.
When asked who gave such instructions, he could not disclose, but insisted that if one benefits from SCT, they should let others benefit from AIP.
In a separate interview, Rumphi district director of agriculture, environment and natural resources Lumbani Msiska said such instruction did not come from his office, but suspected they are using the previous arrangement under Fisp.
“AIP targets all smallholder farmers in the Ministry of Agriculture’s database and this means everyone in the database has to benefit.
“However, under the previous Fisp, there was an arrangement within the communities to ensure that as many poor people as possible benefit from social welfare interventions.”
The SCT Programme in Rumphi is funded by the World Bank. The programme targets 10 percent of the ultra-poor in the district.