Government urged to set up fertiliser factory

The Agriculture Committee of the National Assembly has advised government to consider setting up a fertiliser factory.

Remarks by the committee’s chairperson Sammeer Suleman come at time Malawians are witnessing a sharp rise in fertiliser prices masterminded by global outage and the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Suleman, authorities need to utilize resources allocated into the Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) by setting a target in order to invest such capital into the fertiliser factory.

He said: “We should set a target where we can come and say AIP should only run for two year and whatever farmers will make out that two years will be a starter pack for the third, fourth year and going forward.

“Because what we are doing now is that after two years, the money that was supposed to go into the AIP programme we are going to invest into the fertiliser factory.”

“The Chairperson added that way it is currently, most suppliers are taking advantage of low quantity supplied against huge demand.”

“But who benefits, is it a local farmer, you will find that no, the same subsidized fertiliser they are buying you will find that it’s the factories that are benefitting.”

“Because they are now buying that maize cheaper at the expense of government subsidizing it whereby a poor farmer remains stagnant,” said Suleman.

Malawi imports its fertiliser as the product is sold through a liberalised market structure where suppliers set their own prices.

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