The implementation of this year’s Affordable Input Programme (AIP) has yet again faced hitches, which have resulted in the government missing its deadline on the implementation of the programme.
Addressing journalists at Kanengo in Lilongwe on Wednesday, the Minister of Agriculture Sam Kawale said the programme has encountered a number of hiccups, causing delays in the process.
Kawale said the hiccups were beyond the control of his ministry, citing shortage of forex and the recent 44 percent devaluation.
“We meet with the President to discuss this issue and he directed us to discuss with Ministry of Finance so that they should give us timeframe about when foreign currency will be available for us to be able to buy fertilizer, and the president also directed us to discuss with ministry on how we can handle the situation regarding to the devaluation effect and that money should be increased where necessary.
“The other thing which come out was that as a ministry we should sit down and come up with a new projection on our timeframe regarding to the first directive which the President gave us that we should finish the process in 40 days but with the hiccups the timeframe has to go beyond,” he said.
Kawale disclosed that President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has since directed his ministry to update Malawians on the progress of the programme.
“The president directed us to tell Malawians on how much fertilizer the country has, how the distribution exercise is working, how are we working on addressing rising issues and challenges, how non beneficiaries of AIP are going to be rescued from hunger as well as we should tell Malawians measures on how are we going to work in order to make sure that by Christmas festival everyone should have fertilizer,” Kawale added.