Malawian women sleep at farm inputs selling points

By Chifundo Nedi

MCHINJI-(MaraviPost)-The much anticipated Affordable Inputs Program (AIP) is said to facing numerous challenges in its first phase of implementation that farmers are yet to benefit from the initiative.

Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe acknowledged challenges facing the initiative including system’s network, and lack of suppliers in rural markets.

Lowe however assured the nation that government was working hardly to address the challenges that farmers be able to access the inputs.

“Saving Transactions of farm inputs require network. However, it is reported that there is slow network in some areas leading to slowness of the process” he said.

The Minister disclosed that buying of National Identity Cards from farmers,selling of underweight bags of inputs and non-Issuance of receipts by some suppliers as some of the reasons affecting the program.

On her part, one of the AIP beneficiaries who opted for anonymity expressed her worry on the issue of slowness of the system by saying that this might affect their farming processes.

“As a farmer, I am worried, we all know that the growing season already started and this is the time some of us are supposed to start planting our seeds. But we have not accessed our seeds yet.

So as much as “merampoyamba” farming is concerned. We are afraid that this will affect our farming processes”, she said.

The Malawi government through Ministry of agriculture is implementing the affordable inputs program to assist small holders have access to some farm inputs so that they improve food security in the country.

As far as Affordable Inputs Program is targeting 4.2 Malawian farmers, 89% of the targeted beneficiaries across the country have not yet accessed their inputs.

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