Chakwera Promises to End Fraud in AIP

Chakwera appreciating maize cobs Chakwera appreciating maize cobs - pic by Luka Beston

President Lazarus Chakwera has assured farmers that government will end fraud which marred this year's Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP).

Chakwera said this on Monday after a crop inspection in Traditional Authority Ngolongoliwa, Nanseta and Nchiramwera in Thyolo District.

President Lazarus Chakwera said he is impressed that AIP is bearing fruits and improving the harvest of some farmers in the country.

Chakwera has however, noted the glitches that faced the programme this year which include some beneficiaries failing to redeem their inputs.

"I am impressed after inspecting crops at this section that with their unity and zeal to follow extension services, they have hope of realizing the bumper harvest this year.

“However, I have noted that those farmers who were in groups like here in Tholora utilised extension services in AIP and faced minimal challenges. Let me encourage other farmers to be in groups like others to benefit more. It is good to be in groups.

"Let me assure you that all the fraud will be dealt with. I want farmers to be benefiting. I don't want some people to be deceiving you to sell Inputs for instant benefit, something which would but keep you hungry the whole year," Chakwera charged.

Despite the effects of tropical storms Ana and Gombe, farmers Felix and Elias Kamwana testified that they will realize bumper yields thanks to the Affordable Inputs Programme.

The two lead farmers then asked President Chakwera upon inspecting their crop fields that AIP should continue as it is benefiting farmers.

"Your Excellency, allow us to thank you for the for the AIP. We will harvest bumper yields this year. We therefore ask you to continue implementing it," Elias Kamwana said.

Minister of agriculture, Lobin Lowe, said the country faces a 14 percent decline in crop estimates output this year.

Lowe said though the first crop estimates indicate the country will this year realize 3.1 million metric tons down from 4.5 million metric tons realized last year, the country is still good secure.

"That reduction is for this season. But if we compare with the figures in 2019, we are still okay, there is an improvement because in 2019, we harvested about 2. 7 million metric tons. So, since the country needs 3 million metric tons for consumption, we still have surplus.

"And with the stocks which we have in our storage from previous years, we have bumpers stock as a country," Lowe assured.

Later, President Chakwera addressed a developmental rally at Luchenza LEA school ground where two ward councillors and 2019 Presidential hopeful Reverend Hadwick Kaliya joined the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

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