AIP fertilizer up 100%; farmers to pay K15,000 a bag

A beneficiary of the Affordable input programme

Farmers will in this year’s agriculture season be paying MK15, 000 to access fertilizers in the Affordable input programe (AIP).

This represents a 100 percent increase as during last year’s season they were parting with K7,500 to purchase the product.

The Tonse government which came into power on a campaign promise to reduce agricultural inputs, initially launched the programme where beneficiaries were paying K4, 495 per bag during the 2019-2020 farming season.

Agriculture Minister Sam Kawale announced the development when he delivered a statement on the AIP in Parliament on Thursday.

Each beneficiary is earmarked to access a 50 kg bag of NPK; a 50 kg bag of Urea; either 5 kg of maize seed or 5 kg of sorghum or 5 kg of rice seed, depending on the farmer’s preference.

About 2.5 million beneficiaries to be identified through farmer organizations are in this year’s programme at the cost of K109.4 billion.

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Announced the new price: Kawale

Out of the total figure, K97.5 billion will be used for fertilizer procurement.

Kawale acknowledged the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war and COVID-19 pandemic on the supply chain leading to increased prices of fertilizer.

Madam Speaker, even though the price of fertilizer has skyrocketed as reported earlier, the Government of Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has allowed farmers to pay only MK15, 000 per bag (23%) of fertilizer and Government will pay MK50, 000 (77%) if the total bag price on the market is at MK65, 000. If we compare to last season, the beneficiaries were paying 28 percent of the market price”.

He disclosed that the Morocco Government has supported Malawi with 10,000 metric tons of Muriate of Potash (MOP).

However since Malawi does not use this type of fertilizer for maize production, it will be blended by the Malawi Fertilizer Company Ltd and OPTICHEM (2000) Ltd to make 51,500 metric tons of basal dressing fertilizer NPK:23:10:5+6S+1.0Zn).

The Moroccan fertilizer would be used to reach out to 1.03 million beneficiaries.

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A beneficiary carrying a bag of maize in this World Food Programme (WFP) file photo 

The World Food Programme has donated 20,000 metric tons of NPK (27:6:6:2) for cereal crops production and will be used to reach out to 400,000 beneficiaries.

Through a loan from the African Development Bank, the Ministry will procure 20,144 metric tons (MT) of fertilizer (10,072 MT of NPK, 10,072 MT of Urea) which will be used to reach out to 201,440 beneficiaries.

Smallholder farmers’ fertilizer revolving fund (SFFRFM) is procuring the remaining NPK and Urea to ensure that all 2.5 million beneficiaries targeted this year are supported with the product.

The company will also be responsible for retailing of fertilizers to beneficiaries will be done through the electronic system that scans the beneficiary’s ID to reveal packages to be accessed.

This will be done through selling of the commodity in its permanent and temporary shops; using the ADMARC structures and where this is not possible, mobile retailing will be organised.

To promote transparency before implementation of the initiative, the registers of the beneficiaries will be printed and displayed in strategic places within each district and communities for verification and validation by the communities themselves.