Written by Collings Kalivute:
In a resolute statement, Malawi’s President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has set a 40-day ultimatum for the completion of this year’s Affordable Inputs Program (AIP) in the country.
During the official launch of the program, he emphasized the critical role of the AIP as a cornerstone for the country’s food security and economic growth, underscoring his administration’s unwavering commitment to its implementation.
The ceremony took place at Kavidebwele Primary School Ground in Kasungu, where President Chakwera also issued a stern warning to those contemplating sabotaging the program.
Minister of Agriculture, Sam Kawale, revealed that a budget of K109 billion has been allocated for this year’s AIP, aiming to support 1.5 million farmers, each receiving a 50-kilogram bag of fertilizer at the price of K15, 000.
He said, “291 thousand farmers left out of the AIP system will benefit under the Social Cash Transfer Programme, meaning that over 1 million farmers will also benefit alongside this year’s AIP”.
“102 thousand metric tons are already in the country, representing 73 percent. All hard-to-reach areas have received fertilizers, and challenges that haunted the system last year have been rectified,” added Kawale.
Kasungu North Parliamentarian, Mike Bango, commended the President for maintaining the affordable price tag. Kasungu North Constituency was recognized as the best constituency for the smooth implementation of the program in 2022-2023.
“As you know, Kasungu North emerged as the best constituency that smoothly implemented the program in 2022-2023. This year, we will also do our level best to maintain the position as we have already put measures on the same,” said Bango.
During the event, President Chakwera directed that Traditional Authorities (T/As) Kaluluma and Simlemba should be elevated into Senior Chiefs, while Sub-Traditional Authority (ST/A) into Traditional Authority (T/A) Kalikokha.
Chakwera has since directed the Ministry of Local Government to follow proper procedures on the same.