Chairperson for Kaduya Youth Network, Laston Matopa, said some extension workers were directly involved in the procurement of seedlings, beating the procurement process which allowed suppliers to do so.

Matopa said, for example, the network sold 9, 595 seedlings at K70 each against the recommended procurement price of K100.

He said the network has been failing to get hold of authorities to establish what happened for the forestry department to buy seedlings at a lower price despite having produced quality seedlings.

Chairperson for Nachilowe Youth Club, Adrian Chikopa, described lack of transparency as one of the major challenges rocking the program.

In his response, Phalombe district forestry officer, Moses Mtambo, denied the allegations, saying the seedlings were bought following the procurement procedures and that no forest extension worker was involved in the procurement process.

In December, 2018, government of Malawi launched MYFRP   which aims to spread awareness of the importance of maintaining Malawi’s ecosystems and how young people can benefit from sustainable land management.

Phalombe district has planted 234, 000 tree seedlings in the 2018/19 planting season.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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