Government said it followed all procedures in the distribution and sale of 177 tractors and 144 maize shellers which government acquired for the mechanisation of smallholder farming in the country.

Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation Dr. Allan Chiyembekeza said in parliament on Thursday there was nothing dubious in the way his ministry distributed and sold the tractors and its allied implements.

The minister was responding to a question raised by Rumphi East Member of Parliament Kamlepo Kalua who wanted to know the status and whereabouts of the farm machinery.

“The sale of these pieces of equipment followed the normal tendering procedures and interested individuals or groups submitted their bids.

“Evaluation of the bids was done by officers from different ministries and departments to ensure transparency. All bidders that met the set criteria were offered opportunity to buy the machinery,” Chiyembekeza said.

According to the minister, the bidders were also supposed to have had enough land at least a minimum of 5 hectares to qualify for the machinery, among other requirements.

Chiyembekeza then went further to give out the list of beneficiaries and buyers of the equipment upon the request of the house to allay sentiments by some MPs who claimed the machinery was sold to top government officials.

The Malawi government through the ministry of agriculture and Irrigation acquired farm machinery in 2011 with the aim of increasing the existing fleet of tractors and implements under the Tractor Hired Scheme in the Agriculture development divisions and district councils in the country and offer some to bonafide Malawians, individuals to increase ownership of machinery by Malawian farmers.

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