By Taonga Sabola:
Agriculture Minister, Joseph Mwanamvekha, has described the 2018/19 Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) as successful.
Mwanamvekha was speaking in Blantyre on Saturday after touring Smallholder Farmers Fertiliser Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM) offices and warehouses.
Mwanamvekha said the programme saw the participation of 46 private companies, of which 35 actively participated, a development which brought about efficiency.
He said the government only handled 10 percent of the programme.
“We are happy, as government, to see increased participation of the private sector in business.
“Again, this year, every process, including distribution of coupons, purchase of fertiliser and application, were done on time, resulting in a bumper harvest,” Mwanamvekha said.
He said the government has learnt a lesson on the importance of preparing early for the programme.
During the 2018/19 fiscal year, the government allocated K41.3 billion towards the Fisp.
Second round crop estimates by the Ministry of Agriculture have indicated that Malawi would harvest a total of 3.35 million metric tonnes of maize this year.
Mwanamvekha also indicated that the government had set aside K1 billion for this year’s winter cropping programme.
“We also get assistance from developing partners as well as non-governmental organisations working in the agriculture sector,” Mwanamvekha said.
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