Malawian women sleep at farm inputs selling points

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s civil rights group, Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has expressed sadness over chaotic scenes surrounding this year’s Affordable Farm Inputs (AIP).

The program which is targeting about 4.5 Malawian farmers is currently in a mess including network challenges and unavailability of the commodities.

This has to led to many households sleeping at selling points while travelling long distances for the farm inputs.

This is despite Agriculture Minister Lobin Lowe promised the nation that over the weekend the matter will be resolved.

Addressing the news conference on Monday, November 23, 2020 CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa observes with shock on how the program is being managed.

Namiwa disclosed that the program has also being politicised favouring Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM gurus on inputs suppliers.

“The Tonse Alliance government has politicised the whole AIP initiative by flashing out all the experienced farm input suppliers on grounds that they are either connected or are sympathizers of the former regime of the DPP, and they have replaced them with inexperienced suppliers who have connections with the current regime, specifically the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and the UTM, and yet such suppliers have proved that they do not have the capacity to deliver the job.

“CDEDI is appealing to President Chakwera and his Tonse Alliance government to immediately intervene on the matter by swallowing their pride and getting on board all the suppliers that have the capacity to deliver the job, regardless of their political affiliation, if the Tonse philosophy is indeed anything that is practical,” urges Namiwa.

Below is the full CDEDI statement on chaotic Affordable farm Inputs
Program (AIP)

The chaotic Affordable farm Inputs Program (AIP).

CDEDI has been following developments surrounding this initiative which has now become a torture to poor Malawians in the villages.

Investigations conducted by the CDEDI have revealed the following about the
AIP initiative:

Malawi currently does not have enough stocks of the much-needed
fertilizer, and government is deliberating creating some bottlenecks such as network hitches to save its buttered face;

The Tonse Alliance government has politicised the whole AIP initiative by flashing out all the experienced farm input suppliers on grounds that they are either connected or are sympathizers of the former regime of the DPP, and they have replaced them with inexperienced suppliers who have connections with the current regime, specifically the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and the UTM, and yet such suppliers have proved that they do not have the capacity to deliver the job.

This situation is likely to cause food shortage in the country if the farm inputs are not made available in good time for the 2020/2021 growing season.

CDEDI is appealing to President Chakwera and his Tonse Alliance government to immediately intervene on the matter by swallowing their pride and getting on board all the suppliers that have the capacity to deliver the job, regardless of their political affiliation, if the Tonse philosophy is indeed anything that is practical.

Hunger was slowly becoming history in the country, but the careless
handling of the AIP by President Chakwera and his administration risks throwing Malawi back into a perennial hunger-stricken nation.

CDEDI, and indeed all the well-meaning Malawians are not ready to welcome hunger back into the country, hence our demand for the Tonse alliance government to quickly draft in experienced suppliers back into the AIP initiative.

This is the reason why CDEDI is giving Dr. Chakwera fourteen (14) working days to fix the mess or to publicly accept that he has failed Malawians.

If the situation does not improve, CDEDI will not hesitate to lead Malawians into national wide demonstrations to seek justice from the leaders whom they trusted with their votes.

It is sad to note that the poor Malawians are currently surviving on mangoes, wild tubers, and roots as they are struggling to make ends meet, and yet they were promised a new look Malawi by Dr. Chakwera and his Tonse alliance partners!

Our timely message to government is to move in with speed and rescue the situation. Hungry people are angry people!

CDEDI strongly believes that being a listening government, President Chakwera will respond to these concerns within the stipulated fourteen (14) days, by fixing the problems that have been cited.

Failure to act will mean a complete departure from the listening government promise, a development that will result into national wide demonstrations which CDEDI is ready to spearhead, in solidarity with all the poor and well-meaning Malawians who are already feeling cheated by the Tonse Alliance partners for their failure to honour their sugar-coated litany of campaign promises

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