Malawi Government has released names of successful bidders to supply fertiliser in the K40 billion (about $133 million) 2012-2013 Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp), giving them 12 weeks to supply the commodity.

Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security Principal Secretary Dr. Jeffrey Luhanga confirmed on Friday that the selection of the successful bidders was concluded and that they were informed.

According to the final list, 27 companies have been awarded the contracts out of 47 bidders

Notably missing from the list is Mulli Brothers Limited, which was among those that quoted the highest prices. Others that quoted the highest prices but were successful include Nyiombo Investments, Export Trading and Mzati Investments.

Some of the winners, according to the document, are Rab Processors, Paramount, Sealand Investment, Krish Trading, Hardware Shopping Centre, Xelite Stripes, Simama and Lords Best Collection.

Some of the companies that quoted low prices have expressed disappointment that they were not picked.

But a member of the ministry’s procurement committee defended their choices, saying “evaluation of bids is not just price, but other requirements specified in the bid documents and satisfied by bidders to be determined to be technically responsive and lowest evaluated bidder.”

The ministry’s Internal Procurement Committee chairperson Bright Kumwembe told The Nation on August 18 2012 that it is the wish of the ministry to supply the fertiliser in depots before the rains because certain places are unreachable during the wet season.

Meanwhile, the Indigenous Business Association of Malawi (Ibam) has expressed concern that the list of the successful bidders does not have many indigenous companies.

Ibam president Mike Mlombwa said government should favour local businesses because they employ fellow Malawians.

Fertiliser procurement takes the major allocation of the Ministry of Agriculture budget with K40.6 billion (about $135 million) this year allocated for the purchase of 150 000 metric tonnes, comprising 75 000 tonnes of Urea and 75 000 tonnes of NPK fertilisers to be distributed to 1.5 million farming families at a price of K500 per bag.

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