The Minister of Agriculture, Honorable Sam Dalitso Kawale has cancelled sand festival in the Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) this growing season.
Writing on his official Facebook page ,Kawale says in the past years, AIP was marred with cases of fertilizer mixed with sand or soil.
“This year, we have worked so hard to make sure this doesn’t happen. We are pleased to inform you that, the syndicate that was in forefront of this, has been neutralized. There is no Sand Festival in AIP this year,” he says.
According to Kawale, at the beginning of the program, a number of cases reached his ministry of people planning to blend organic fertilizer with lime and supply it as chemical fertilizer.
“We immediately engaged the Malawi Police, NIS, and Ministry of Agriculture officials to track down all those involved. The teams visited Mchinji, Kasungu, and Liwonde/Balaka, to investigate what was going on,”
“The teams did manage to locate the places this was happening and arrests happened, pending trial,” he says.
The Minister says all the operations took place before the launch and a week into the launch.
“However, since then, we have not received a report of fake fertilizer being sold by SFFRFM in the country.
A big thank you to all the vigilant citizens who made sure this malpractice is arrested at its infancy stage,” he says.
Kawale commits to supply fertilizer and all AIP items across the country.
“We are aware of places where the commodity has not reached yet. Please be assured that we are on the ground to make sure transport is available and the commodity is available,” he says.
Malawi Government introduced the AIP to allow Malawians buy fertilizer and seeds among others at an affordable price. The programme is aimed at alleviating hunger in the country.