Mwanamvekha assures smooth FISP implementation

Written by  Tabbu Kitta

The Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has assured members of parliament and the nation that though the ministry faced some challenges during the 2018/19 season, the Farm Input Subsidy Program will continue to benefit the marginalized poor communities in the country.

Mwanamvekha  receives the coupons upon arrival in the country Mwanamvekha receives the coupons upon arrival in the country

Minister responsible Joseph Mwanamveka told the August House in a ministerial statement that after the program was suspended earlier this month, the Ministry has managed to rectify some of the challenges and has promised to perfect the service.

Mwanamveka however called on members of parliament who still register discrepancies in the process to liaise with district councils as well as ministry officials as soon as possible.

Speaking on the anomaly of creation of ghost villages and ghost beneficiaries, Mwanamvekha assured the House that those who were involved in the malpractice have been dealt with by the rightful authorities.

Mwanamvekha said, “My ministry is working with the Malawi Police Service to provide security during the implementation process and also to deal with any malpractice that may arise. We have also put proper measures so that the implementation of FISP can be done in a fair and orderly manner in order in to reach out to deserving beneficiaries.”

Speaking on other challenges that the program encounters like suppliers targeting trading centers, Mwanamvekha said the ministry has asked suppliers like Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund (SFFRF) to ensure that even hard to reach areas are supplied with the farm inputs.

“Going forward, household registration shall be done annually to incorporate changes that have occurred within the year, biometric data will be used and updating data will be done by an independent institution,” he explained.

The Minister further implored the members of the August House to take their rightful roles in being vigilant in order to ensure smooth implementation of the program so that the program achieves its goal.

This year, the FISP program targeted one million beneficiaries as compared to 900 thousand last year. According to Mwanamvekha this year’s FISP registered a record as the coupons arrived earlier than all the previous years.

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