The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development on Wednesday said government will roll out distribution of coupons for Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) next week.
Speaking at a press briefing at Capital Hill in Lilongwe, the Minister responsible for Agriculture George Chaponda said the ministry is set to start distribution of farm input coupons to the beneficiaries.
“There is nothing to worry about and come next week, Malawians will have their coupons,” said Chaponda adding that, “you may wish to know that we have delayed to launch the exercise because the coupons were being printed in United Kingdom.”
The agriculture minister further explained that government has carefully considered the fact that farmers were highly charged by retailers last year as only 40 percent of them were allowed to sale fertilizer and seeds.
This year, the number of retailers has increased from 40 percent to 60 percent. And this, apart from increasing access to the commodity, Chaponda said has been done to ignite competition amongst the retailers and, by that way, reduce charges.
“Each fertilizer coupon will have the value of K15, 000 per 50kg for UREA and NPK, and 5/6kg for maize seed will be at k5000 and 2/3kg for legume k2500,” explained Chaponda.
He added that this means that traders will be selling at K18, 000 0r k19, 000 making the farmers to contribute k4, 000 on the k15, 000 set by government.
This year apart from ADMARC and Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM), the private traders will be retailing fertilizer directly to the smallholder farmers and each District will have not less than four retailers.
But for Nsanje and Chitipa, only ADMARC and SFFRFM will retail their inputs.
Commenting on the food situation in the country, the minister said a lot of progress has been made on mobilizing resources for food purchase both for commercial and humanitarian response.
“People who have been identified through the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee are the ones who will be considered for the humanitarian package,”
“While as for commercial maize, ADMARC has a lot of maize which is being sold in all deports across the country,” explained Chaponda.