By Glory Msowoya, MANA
President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has warned unscrupulous suppliers that might want to be involved in corruption in this year’s Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP).
Speaking during the launch of the AIP at Pirimiti Boys Primary School in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Mwambo in Zomba, the President urged all suppliers to follow all terms and conditions of their contracts.
“Corruption is unethical. This malpractice will not be tolerated in this programme and my government will not hesitate to terminate the contract for those that will be caught doing so.
“Let us all work together despite this programme being a brain child of government.
“Reaching this far as Malawians, we should change our mindset of trying to benefit more from government programmes at the expense of the poor. Let us transform this country together,” he said.
Minister of Agriculture, Lobin Lowe advised beneficiaries of the AIP to use the inputs for intended purpose.
He said that the purchase of the commodities started immediately after the launch in some districts.
“I am calling on farmers expected to benefit from this programme not to sell the inputs because doing so is like selling their own right to food.
“Beneficiaries should use the inputs purposefully otherwise government’s intended goal of attaining food self-sufficiency at household and national levels would remain a dream,” Lowe said.
This year, the Ministry of Agriculture cleared some 87 companies to start supplying low-priced fertilizer to subsistence farmers in the new AIP.
The AIP targets 4.2 million smallholder farmerswith each beneficiary receiving one 50 kgs bag of NPK; one 50 kgs bag of UREA; a pack of either 5kgs maize seed or 7kgs sorghum or 7kgs rice.
Under the programme farmers are expected to pay K4,495 for a bag of fertilizer and K2,000 per pack of cereal seed.
In the 2020/2021 National Budget, government allocated K160.2 billion for the AIP.