2024-06-13

AIP fails to register food security in Malawi

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Affordable Input Programme (AIP) under the MCP led Tonse Alliance government has for three years failed to register a remarkable achievement of bringing in the country food security for all households to stand up for one song, freedom in their hearts.

In June, 2020 Malawians regardless of their political party affiliations voted for Chakwera to become the 6th President of the Republic as one of his HI-5 Agenda was for Malawi to register food security at household level.

The 2023-2024 AIP has been described as the worse implementation besides reducing the number of beneficiaries by one million to make 1,5 million, no fertilizer while government says there is fertilizer, trucks loaded with fertilizer diverted, one or two people in the village beneficiaries, the list is endless.

Agriculture Committee of Parliament Chairperson Sameer Suleman, has called on government to fire Agriculture Minister Sam Dalitso Kawale describing him as a failure and is worse as compared with others who have served in the similar position before.

Speaking in an interview with a local radio station, Suleman said Kawale had an opportunity to do better claiming that he was given K5 billion in April, 2023 to procure fertilizer saying he went to Romania with his Principal Secretary for a fertilizer deal in a pharmacy.

Suleman said another K5 billion meant for AIP has gone missing as the suspect is still at large saying Kawale went to Namibia to Mendongo Company whose one officer is related to State House, signing the contract which was flopped and the company has sued government for a compensation of K300 billion.

He said there have been so many deadlines given to Kawale with several promises that by July, 2023 the fertilizer will be in the country and come August, 2023 distribution and this is December, 2023 where some centres have only received 3 to 4 bags of fertilizer.

“This is December, 2023 there is no fertilizer, we have heard that fertilizer was stolen and sold by senior government officials, 3 Principal Secretaries are helping the Minister, they are being paid transport and housing allowances, the president is only seeing this,” said Suleman.

He said there have been many proposals to government for it to do better in the implementation of AIP to seal all loop-holes but this has not been accepted, all the holes of stealing are left to open making AIP producing no impact to Malawians.

Suleman has since asked President Chakwera to explain to Malawians why he is still keeping Kawale as his Minister of Agriculture claiming that he has given himself deadlines besides those of government but has failed and he is still enjoying favors than the former Minister of Agriculture, Lobin Lowe.
Meanwhile, published reports are indicating that the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture has asked the Ministry of Agriculture to investigate the missing of 1,500 bags of fertilizer which were loaded in trucks from Smallholder Farmers Fertlizer Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM) to beneficiaries in the allocated distribution centres.

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