CDEDI Wants Lowe Summoned As His Deadline Expires

Amid uncertainties surrounding the Affordable Inputs Programme-AIP, Centrer for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives-CDEDI wants the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture to summon Agriculture Minister Lobin Lowe to explain this including availability of fertilizer as rainy season approaches.

In a letter, CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa says they want government to come out clearly if it is proceeding with the AIP and the prices farmers will contribute towards purchasing the farm inputs.

Again, CDEDI has cautioned the Committee against its alleged sit and watch approach on how government is handling the issue of ADMARC. The Committee is yet to comment on the matter.

But a few days ago, Committee’s Chairperson Sameer Suleman observed that nothing was working as the country had only16,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser against 400, 000 metric tonnes needed.

He added AIP beneficiaries were yet to be identified with Farmers Union of Malawi President Frighton Njolomole also claiming being in the dark on progress made so far.

In April this year, President Lazarus Chakwera gave Lowe up to this September to sort out the mess that usually frustrate the successful implementation of the highly billed AIP; which stakeholders and institutions like World Bank keep questioning its sustainability amid the country’s bleeding economy.

Warned Chakwera: “Time to start preparations is now and not in September. I don’t want to hear, come September, that some issues have not been addressed. We will be seen to not take into consideration the points raised by Malawians to improve the programme.”

Reports indicate the number of beneficiaries has been reduced by half this year from last year’s 3700 due to an increase in fertilizer prices.

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