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The Ministry of Agriculture has reduced the beneficiaries of this season’s Affordable Input Programme (AIP) to about 2.7million from last season’s about 3.7million.


A letter to district commissioners (DC) Secretary for Irrigation Sandram Maweru, which MBC Online has seen, indicates that the decision has been arrived “due to financial constraints and rising of prices of fertilizer.”


Said Maweru: “As you are aware that the 2021-2022 beneficiaries, data updating was done some weeks ago, the Ministry of Agriculture is writing you to let you know that the data submitted was looked through all processes.


“However due to financial constraints and rising of prices of fertilizer, after looking into these two compounded challenges, the ministry, has decided to have AIP scaling down of the beneficiaries to be done up to village level.”


According to Maweru, those benefiting from this year’s season include vulnerable smallholder farmers; those not benefiting from any other Agriculture Supporting Programmes, people with disabilities and chronically ill.


Meanwhile, a total of 469 firms have submitted bids to supply subsidized fertilizer and seeds during implementation of this year’s programme.


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