Blantyre: About 45 per cent of the fertilizers required for Farm Inputs Subsidy Program (FISP) have been accessed by farmers in the country, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has said.
The ministry’s Public Relations Officer, Hamilton Chimala, told Malawi News Agency (MANA) on Thursday that farm inputs are being retailed by private companies that are contracted by government and that so far, the exercise has achieved remarkable and satisfactory results.
The distribution exercise is progressing well. So far, the ministry through FISP has made available 45 per cent of fertilizers such as 23:10:5+6S+1.0Zn, and Urea to farmers.
This is because the ministry had to sit down with supplies before the commencement of the distribution exercise to not only supply the inputs in towns and trading centres but also in hard- to-reach areas to cater for all farmers, he said.
Chimala, however, said the amount to be accessed will increase because as the farming season progresses, the demand for the input is likely to peak.
Currently, according to Chimala, the ministry, in conjunction with the police, is still conducting spot checks in depots where FISP distribution exercise is being carried out to ensure sanity as well as efficiency of the exercise.
The behaviour by local leaders demanding to receive coupons on behalf of their subjects has not been entertained this year, he said adding: more also, monitoring of the program is being done at all levels.
Government launched FISP in September which targets one million farmers. Each farmer receives coupons which cater for two bags of fertilizer, maize seed and legume seed.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA