President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has outlined three challenges facing Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP): Network glitches, slow delivery of inputs and corruption.

“There are three problems affecting AIP. The first being network outages which is making it extremely difficult to retrieve information of the beneficiaries. To address these issues, the Minister of Information has had several engagements with the key stakeholders and I am pleased to inform you that these problems will be resolved soon,” said President Chakwera in his weekly ‘Malawi Wa Tsopano’ radio broadcast on MBC.

The Malawi leader said corruption and slow delivery of the affordable inputs have also contributed to the chaos surrounding the implementation.

The President reiterated his Government’s commitment to making AIP work for the good of farm households in the country saying “some of these problems are machinations of corrupt-bent people who like profiteering and enriching themselves from programmes meant to empower the rural en-masse.”

During the campaign trail both President Dr. Chakwera and Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima assured the electorate that once they are elected to the highest offices in the land, they will prioritize national food security to end searing hunger.

Their promise to lower the price of fertilizer from K22,000 per 50 kgs of fertilizer to nearly K5,000 has been fulfilled this year.

Over 4 million ordinary farmers across the country are expected to benefit from AIP.

Dr. Chakwera has warned some suppliers who to date haven’t fulfilled their contract obligations as in some areas farmers are still waiting for the affordable inputs.

“The Ministry of Agriculture is screening which suppliers haven’t delivered the affordable farm inputs and what has led to the delay in supply. Government cannot afford further delays and such suppliers risk rendering their contracts void,’’ warned the President.

The President said in the new dispensation corruption will not be given an inch to flourish and thus warned those who are trying to frustrate the programme with their corrupt acts like overpricing, selling underweight quantities of the inputs and demanding kickbacks from farmers that the long arm of the law will catch up with them.

“There are some unpatriotic people who are trying so hard to frustrate the programme so they rip unsuspecting farmers. Others are also deliberately lying of network outages. I should assure you they will not achieve their ill motives,” said the Malawi leader.

The Malawi leader has charged the citizenry to report to relevant authorities those engaged in such malpractices. He then assured the nation that Government will do everything in its capacity to make AIP successful and ensure food security at household and national level.

The country’s economy largely depends on agriculture and during this year’s Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) national conference it was resolved that Government should prioritise economic sectors that are key to thriving of the economy and benefit Malawians at large and this includes all interventions to boost agricultural productivity.

Credit: MBC

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