Member of Parliament (MP) for Phalombe Central constituency George Million has asked the Ministry of Agriculture to commence preparations for this year’s Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP).
According to the lawmaker, early preparation for the programme is important towards ensuring that farmers in the country, especially those in hard-to-reach areas have accessed the inputs before the rains start.
Million told Yoneco FM Online that going by last years’ experience, it is worrisome to note that the programme started very late when farmers had already planted their crops.
“The AIP programme is very important programme but what I noted in the past season is that they were starting it very late around November and December when the rains had already started.
“Most of the roads in the country`s rural areas are very bad during the rainy season so I am appealing to government that during this year’s programme they should start as early as August before the rains start,” said Million.
According to Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu, K142.0 billion has been allocated to the AIP which is expected to achieve an outreach of not less than 3.5 million farming families in line with the first pillar of Malawi 2063, Agriculture Productivity and Commercialization.
Upon presenting the 2021/2022 budget estimates, Mlusu said the resources are part of the total allocation to the agriculture sector.