By: Vincent Gunde.
COUPON BENEFICIARIES IN DOWA DOWN BY 9,000
About 43,000 beneficiaries are expected to receive this year’s Farm Input Subsidy Program ( FISP) coupons in Dowa district.
The figure is down by 9000 from last year’s where a total of 52,900 beneficiaries benefited from the coupon distributions.
Briefing the Dowa District executive council committee at a meeting held at the boma, District Agricultural Development Officer ( DADO) for Dowa West, Aaron Kachimela, said the figure has dropped at national level where last year, the number of beneficiaries were 1 million and this year it has gone down to 900,000.
Kachimela said selection of beneficiaries was centrally done at the ministry’s headquarters in Lilongwe saying as was the case last year, national IDs will be used to receiving the coupons and purchasing subsidy.
He said the program for Kasungu Agricultural Development Division ( KADD) has started with Mchinji and Dowa will start next upon arrivals of the registers where beneficiaries will be advised on who and who has been selected to benefit.
The DADO informed the Dec members that the coupons distribution exercise will start with the hard to reach areas of the district citing Nalunga and Chisepo where the roads become impassable during rainy season.
He said the package of the subsidies remain the same as of last year where beneficiaries will he receiving coupons for 1 bag NPK, 1 bag UREA, 2 kgs legumes seeds and 1kgs g/nuts saying beneficiaries will be paying an additional of K5,000 from the value of the shop price if 1bag of fertilizer is at K20,000 and government has paid K15,000.
Kachimela ,then advises farmers who are the beneficiaries to keep safe the coupons saying once lost or stolen , there’s no replacement.
Kasalika Development Community’s Executive Director, Gift Mwale, observed that out of all the 28 districts in Malawi, its only Dowa which the coupon beneficiaries have been reduced with a big margin than any of the other districts.
But, Kachimela in his response said he also is equally concerned and was quick to point out that the Ministry has put into consideration other districts hit by disasters dismissing fears that the big reduction is just only for Dowa district.