President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has urged Malawians who will benefit from this year’s Affordable Input Program (AIP) to jealously guard the program by desisting from conduct that may either delay or curtail their access to fertitilizer, seed and goats.
Speaking at Maonde in Dedza during the AIP launch on Saturday Chakwera said beneficiaries are not allowed to abuse the program by getting more than what they are supposed to get.
“But I must emphasize that those of you who will benefit from this fertilizer also have a responsibility. First, you are responsible for making sure that you do not abuse the programme by trying to get more than your fair share of fertilizer. Just as we are fighting against the spirit of greed in government, we must also end the spirit of greed in society. Second, you are responsible for your K15,000 contribution for each bag of fertilizer you get.
This fertilizer is not for free or a handout, but an investment that you must be willing to make to increase your harvest. Third, you are responsible for working hard in your fields, because having fertilizer will not give you a harvest if you choose to be lazy,” said the President.
The Malawi leader said the beneficiaries are responsible for following the advice of agricultural extension workers who are going to be telling them farming advice.
President Chakwera said he is happy that the programme has now taken off.
“We have fought battles against competition, the competition between many countries fighting for access to limited supplies of fertilizer whose prices around the world have doubled due to the supply chain disruptions caused by the war between the fertilizer producing countries of Ukraine and Russia. But the restrictions have not prevailed, and now 2.5 million farming families in Malawi are rejoicing because the fertilizer we promised is here,” he said.
He said AIP was a success and provided food security for millions in 2020 and 2021.
“In fact, because of AIP, between the 2020 and 2021 seasons we have had since I became President, the country produced a total of 8.43 million tons of maize, which surpasses the production levels of the previous five years. So, with the programme I am launching today, our expectation is that the AIP for 2022 will equally be a success.”