Parliamentary committee on agriculture has requested government to ensure this year’s farm input subsidy program FISP is successful.

Chairperson of the committee Dr Chidanti Malunga was speaking during the launch of FISP at Mtaya primary school ground in Balaka district.

Malunga said last year’s FISP was not successful because of the challenges it faced.

“Some of the challenges were selling and theft of coupons, late distribution of inputs and unavailability of some of the fertilizer,” said Malunga

However, he hailed government for working hand in hand with the committee.

In his remarks Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Joseph Mwanamveka said government has introduced a telephone line of 60606 which people can use to report any malpractice.

“We will not shield any person doing malpractices in this year’s FISP saying over 50 people who were arrested last year are serving jail term,” Mwanamveka stressed

He said government has put aside 41.5 billion kwacha for this year’s FISP which will benefit 1 million people.

Mwanamveka emphasized that only targeted households will benefit in the program.

Member of Parliament for the area Yaumi Mpaweni thanked government for choosing his area to launch the program.

However, Mpaweni asked government to consider bringing kiosks in the area saying “water scarcity is the major problem.”

He also asked beneficiaries to utilize the coupons for the intended purpose.