The Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Hon. Kondwani Nankhumwa, MP, has thanked the President of the Republic of Malawi, Professor Arthur Peter Munthalika for his dynamic leadership in putting the life of Malawians at his heart by allowing that Farm Input Subsidy Programme be implemented to alleviate hunger at households levels.
The Minister was speaking on 30th January, 2020 at the Ministry's Conference Room at Capital Hill, Lilongwe where he held a press briefing to update the nation on the progress of the 2019/2020 Farm Input Subsidy Programme.
"For the first time, a special arrangement was made with suppliers to assist farmers from hard to reach areas. Inputs were available in those areas at the time of coupon distribution. This was done to reduce distance that these farmers travel to access these inputs. The approaches used assisted in improving acquisition of inputs such that as of 17th January 2020 about 91% of targeted fertilizer (90,000mt) was accessed by beneficiaries of which 93% was for NPK and 89% was for Urea," said the Minister.
The Minister also explained that the uptake of inputs is dwindling signifying the coming to an end of the 2019/2020 season.
"We are closing accessing of farm inputs on 7th February, 2020 and the Ministry will stop receiving used coupons from input suppliers on 21st February, 2020," said Nankhumwa who is also Leader of Government Business in Parliament.
According to Nankhumwa each farmer was given a set of 4 coupons to enable them access 50kg bag of NPK fertilizer, 50kg bag of Urea fertilizer, either 5kg pack of maize seed or 7kg sorghum seed or 7kg of rice and 2kg of soya,cowpeas, pigeon peas or 1kg of beans/groundnuts seed and that the nominal values of the coupons were k15,000 for each fertilizer coupon, k6000 for cereal coupon and k2050 for legume coupon.
The beneficiaries of this year's season were 900,000 farmers across the nation.
The Minister was accompanied by several senior officials led by Principal Secretary, Gray Nyandule-Phiri.