Parliament recommends SFFRFM, Admarc in fertiliser supply deal

Parliament says there is a cartel aiming at plundering public resources through the Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) by raising fertiliser prices.

The Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture made sentiments following growing concerns over skyrocketing of fertilizer prices in the country.

According to the Committee Vice Chairperson Ulemu Chilapondwa, an interface with the responsible Ministry of Agriculture has revealed that the exorbitant fertiliser prices is abnormal and unrealistic.

“We have indicated to them that indeed the fertiliser prices that are rising out there are not normal and we know and believe that indeed there is a cartel.

“There is a cartel of fertiliser suppliers out there who have agreed to raise these prices unnecessary because they are targeting the AIP, and we are happy because the Ministry have indeed agreed that we need to break this cartel,” said Chilapondwa.

He has since threatened that if the trend continues, the Committee will have no option but recommending government to procure fertiliser from producers.

“Breaking this cartel is simple and easy, we have to direct the ministry of agriculture to buy fertiliser from the source that is producers through the government set organisation,” said Chilapondwa.

Responding to the matter, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Erica Maganga expressed shock over the rise and has since vowed to probe the matter further.

“As a Ministry, we are also surprised to see in the social media that prices have gone as higher as MK40, 000 per bag, and what we are saying is that as government we are still checking on the ground.

“All I can say is that as government and as a Ministry, we are discussing the prices and communication will be made available once all consultations have been made,” said Maganga.

The Committee has since recommended that Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM) and Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) should engaged to supply fertiliser on behalf of government.

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