Malawi government is expected to spend beyond the K42 billion it budgeted for this year’s Farm Input Subsidy Programme – FISP, Finance Minister Ken Lipenga disclosed on Wednesday.
Lipenga says the additional funding will cover up for the irregularities encountered in the programme.
These include theft of subsidized fertilizer and the discovery of some fertilizer which was mixed with sand in most areas of the country.
However, Lipenga could not give projections for the extra costs, saying figures will be available when presenting the mid-term budget review in January 2013.
“I do not have estimations on the extra cost but obviously there is an extra cost, even though our aim is always to minimize the extra cost but there will be an extra cost because of the anomalies experienced out there,” said Lipenga at a function where the governments of Malawi and Norway signed a K1.5 billion financing agreement for the Farm Input Subsidy Programme.
He said over 87 percent of the farm input materials have since been distributed countrywide and further expressed optimism that the country would achieve its targets.
Said Lipenga “we would like to finish the distribution of the input as soon as possible because we would want to see farmers plant and harvest more this year.”
Analysts have been saying that chances that the Malawi economy will recover by the next agriculture season are slim in the wake of the poor management this year’s FISP