Farmer to buy fertilizer at K7,500 a bag; Govt subsidizes at K19,500

Chakwera being briefed of the programme

By Linda Likomwa, MANA

President Lazarus Chakwera officially launched the 2021/2022 Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) on Saturday which the government is subsidizing fertilizer price at K19,500 for the beneficiary farmer to pay K7,500.


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At the launch at St. Thereza Primary School in Chiradzulu, Chakwera said this is a reaffirmation of his administration’s commitment of a new Malawi, “keeping the promise to farmers, parents and traders that we would make sure that the AIP succeeds again”.

He added that during the last farming season “millions of farmers testified that a new Malawi of bumper harvest is here” and that “beyond fulfilling the promise of food security, AIP has been instrumental in ensuring that government makes progress in fulfilling job and wealth creation”.

A beneficiary buys and carries away her farm input

“By making sure that inputs supply and retailing for the AIP are largely private sector-led, 72 private companies were awarded fertilizer contracts. In the process, over 3,000 retail outlets opened, offering employment and wealth generation opportunities to hundreds of thousands Malawians,” he said. 

Minister of Agriculture, Lobin Lowe, said farmers will access the inputs through different outlets this year, saying: “ADMARC and Smallholder Farmers Revolving Fund will only supply 34% of the inputs as 66% has been given to the private sector.

Lowe then asked farmers to check the seed they will purchase if it is original by scratching at the corner of the maize seed pack and enter the number which is there as a way of dealing with fake seeds.

An AIP officer showing the farmer how to check serial number

Member of Parliament for Chiradzulu Central, McTimes Malowa, who is a Democratic Progress Party member, thanked government for maintaining the number of beneficiaries and that the network problem that was faced during 2020/21 has been resolved.

He also said during 2020/21 farming season, some beneficiaries in the district only accessed one bag of fertilizer because when the supplier had one type of fertilizer, beneficiaries were told to get the other bag later which would not be honoured.

AIP officers ready to serve beneficiaries

Government of Malawi introduced the AIP in July, 2020 — a month after Chakwera assumed office — to increase smallholder farmers’ access to improved agricultural farm inputs which led to increased agricultural products and increased household income through sales of surplus crop products.

The programne goal is to attain food security at household and national levels, and increase economic wellbeing through increasing access to improved farm inputs by smallholder farming households in the country.

The 2021/22 AIP will support 3,744,105 smallholder farmers, out of 3,714,105 will access inputs for crop production — fertilizer and certified improved seed — while 30,000 will access female goats since this year, the programme has included a livestock component to be piloted in Chikwawa and Nsanje districts.