The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has suspended the 2018-19 Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) coupon distribution as well as supplier coupon redemption until further notice.
According to the statement, the suspension has been done in order to align, reconcile and consolidate the distribution processes in all the districts in tandem with the planned distribution figures.
“This has been done in order to align, reconcile and consolidate the distribution processes in all the districts in tandem with the planned distribution figures,” reads the statement.
The Ministry has also requested all farmers to safely keep the coupons for use when the input outlets reopen.
“The Ministry is requesting all farmers that have received the FISP coupons and have not accessed the inputs to safely keep them for use when the input outlets reopen for the redemption of the coupons,” it reads.
The Ministry has however assured farmers that are yet to access the coupons and as well as suppliers that the distribution and redemption will resume as soon as possible.
But reacting to development, Chairperson for Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Dr Joseph Chidanti Malunga, has pleaded with government to speed up rectifying the irregularities regarding the program.
“The suspension is time because we have been receiving reports from every complaining of irregularities and the only way to sort the irregularities is to halt the process however we plead with the government to speed up the process so that farmers can procure the inputs in time.” Dr Chidanti said.
Dr Chidanti said the swift response to the concerns indicate that government has listened to the complaints so that could be rectified.
On lasting solutions to the problems, Dr Chidanti said that Malawians need to be on alert all times to enable them to deal with any emerging issues as it comes.
“What I suggest is that Malawians need to be on alert all the times so that when a new thing comes in them we just deal with it as it comes,” said Dr Chidanti.
One million farming households are expected to benefit from the 2018-2019 farm input subsidy programme.