President Lazarus Chakwera has launched the Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) in Zomba district with a call to beneficiaries to utilize the initiative wisely in a bid to ensure food security in the country.
Chakwera said the targeted 4.2 million households should grow crops which they will easily benefit from at the same time benefiting other community members.
Under AIP, which has replaced the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP), each farming household will buy two bags of fertiliser at K4 495 each with a five kilogramme seed at K2 000.
President Chakwera said the Programme is one of the Tonse Alliance philosophies that intend to create worth among Malawians.
He said by ensuring there is food security in the country will help households to attain economic stability in a way that people will be able to sell out surplus food.
Just as he said in his first State of National Address (SONA), Chakwera has reiterated that time has come for Malawians to deny the notion that insinuates that Malawi is poor.
“We are not poor, our poverty is man-made and we must deny that,” Chakwera said.
He said his government is in talks with other countries to find markets for local produce.
Chakwera also issued a passionate advice to beneficiaries of the programme to make sure they do not sell all their yields after harvesting.
“Let me ask you to always ensure you have enough food before you sell,” he said.
Chakwera also warned those who sell the inputs that will defeat the initiative’s purpose of eliminating hunger.
He said government will recruit more extension workers to help farmers with good farming practices in a quest to improve food security in the country.
“Public and Private sector engagement is very crucial is so far as development of the country is concerned but, the partnership between the two must not base its foundation on corrupt motives. I therefore urge everyone to desist from robbing Malawians otherwise is you are found the law shall take its course,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe warned suppliers of the Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) that government will not hesitate to withdraw contracts should they engage in illegal practices.