Home Crops Ministry of Agriculture remain upbeat on the AIP

Ministry of Agriculture remain upbeat on the AIP

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Ministry of Agriculture officials are adamant that the affordable farm input program (AIP) will go on smoothly and all the beneficiaries will get the heavily subsidized farm inputs.

This is after Parliamentary committee on Agriculture members quizzed ministry of Agriculture officials on glitches facing the affordable farm input program (AIP).

A senior member of the committee has said the program is heading towards disaster.

Principal Secretary, I’m the ministry of Agriculture, Erica Maganga says 22% of the targeted farmers in the Affordable Input Program have managed to access the fertilizer and the ministry is optimistic that the program will reach all its targeted farmers by 31st December 2020.

She told the committee that Admarc has now been brought in the program and is expected to supply 17 000 metric tons.

Meanwhile, she said the number of beneficiaries has reduced from 4.2 million to 3.6 million beneficiaries.

Maganga said this is due to the removal of ghost beneficiaries and some beneficiaries who left the country.

But Sameer Suleman, Parliamentary Agriculture Committee chairperson has expressed fears that the program may flop if not careful.

He said the decision to bring Admarc on board has come a bit late as it will be a challenge for Admarc to transport the fertilizer in good time.

“I am calling upon President Lazarus Chakwera to be in control of things, he should come in to address challenges facing the program as this is his program.

“I am afraid the program will get to February next year, and if that happens the program will be useless,” said Suleman.

Agriculture officials have labelled network hitches as being a major setback for the program.

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