Delayed distribution of seeds in this year’s Affordable Inputs Program-AIP has not amused the Farmers Union of Malawi-FUM which says this demonstrates incompetence on those managing the program.
FUM President, Mannes Nkhata laments the delays as some parts of the country are already receiving rains for planting.
“This only means farmers will not plant or plant recycled seeds and will hugely impact on the yields. The situation gives an impression of general capacity gaps in the AIP program,” she says.
She has called on the government to speedily address the problem and treat the challenge as an emergency.
Traditional Authority Mponela of Dowa has also bemoaned congestion on the selling sites; saying only Smallhorder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi is supplying the fertilizers.
“There is need to open more satellites that people should not scramble to access the farm inputs,” he explains.
But Secretary for Agriculture Medrina Mloza Banda remains optimistic to reach out to all the 2.5 million beneficiaries come January next year.
A few days ago, government said it was still waiting for approval from the public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority to select companies that would supply maize seed for the program.
President Lazarus Chakwera launched this year’s AIP in Dedza district on 19th November 2022.