Three weeks after government cancelled contracts of companies hired to supply subsidized farm inputs, the authorities say they will soon invite bids for new prospective suppliers.

Minister of Information and Civic Education Moses Kunkuyu has parried away fears that this may delay the distribution process saying it will be finalized before the start of the rainy season.

Planting rains in Malawi normally starts in November.

‘We are making all the necessary preparations for the exercise to begin soon, so as not to be overtaken by the rainy season,” said Mr. Kunkuyu.

Reports say the initial contracts were cancelled following allegations of corruption in the awarding of the contracts.

They were processed in the regime of late president Bingu wa Mutharika whose death paved way for the swearing of the new president, Joyce Banda.

“After those contracts were cancelled, government has been looking into irregularities which might have happened, because we want to have a smooth exercise this time,” added Mr. Kunkuyu.

“Distribution of coupons to beneficiaries of the subsidy programme, will also begin soon, to allow for beneficiaries to buy fertilizer in good time,” added the minister.

This year, up to poor farming families are expected to benefit in the subsidy programme, in which a 50 kilogram bag of chemical fertilizer will be sold at MK 500, about 1.87 USD.

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