Government has extended time for this year’s Affordable Input Program (AIP) to accommodate farmers who are yet to access the cheap subsidised farm inputs.
Ministry of Agriculture Spokesperson Gracian Lungu observed that some farmers in the hard to reach areas in districts such as Chitipa and Karonga are yet to benefit from the program.
Lungu told iHubOnline that the ministry is working with Malawi Defence Force (MDF) to facilitate transportation, to expeditiously run the program.
We have engaged MDF to help us with transport to reach farmers who are in the hard to reach areas. So far we have rectified all technical glitches that were experienced just after the program rolled.
He added that the other challenge that the program has faced is that some suppliers have failed to deliver.
Lungu further said that, so far, over 90 percent of the farming households that were earmarked to benefit from the program have accessed the inputs.
“Over 3.3 million farming households have managed to buy two bags of fertilizer weighing 50 kilograms each. We are only remaining with less than 10 percent who will be assisted during the extension period,” he added.
Lungu said in addition to seeking the assistance of the army, the ministry has included ADMARC as a supplier of the inputs, to fast track the program.
AIP the successor of Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) has been earmarked to benefit over 3.7 million farmers.