Chakwera promises to work on AIP shortfalls
President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera Tuesday said the government would work on the shortfalls of the Affordable Input Programme (AIP) and that Malawians should expect change in the next farming season.
He was speaking after inspecting crops of three farmers in Namadidi, Traditional Authority (TA) Mlumbe in Zomba, where he said he had learned a lot from the tour and that most of the farmers visited shared the same story.
“When I was in Thyolo on Monday and today in Zomba what is coming out clearly is the same story; farmers are complaining of delays and unavailability of fertilizers in our deports. As a government, we have taken note of the challenges and we will work on improving them during the next AIP program,” Chakwera said.
He said the whole purpose of the AIP program was to improve food security at a household level as well as in the country.
“What I have also noted is that those farmers who accessed fertilizer, despite the rains, their fields have done better which is a sign that, if well planned and executed, the AIP has potential to make the country food sufficient,” the President said.
Chakwera commended the Ministry of Agriculture for teaching farmers various farming methods which were benefiting farmers.
He said methods such as crop rotation, Sasakawa planting methods, and manure application were some that Malawians needed to practice for higher yield.
“Generally, I am impressed with what I have seen, the point is that people are willing to work in groups and follow instructions from extension workers and adapt to new farming methods,” added Chakwera.
In an interview one of the farmers the President visited, Aron Mtalimanja hailed the President for the AIP program which was helping a lot of poor farmers.
Mtalimanja who is a beneficiary of the AIP said the government should not abandon the program but rather properly plan so that every poor farmer is able to access it.
“This is a very beneficial program and as a country, we stand a chance of becoming self-sufficient if properly planned,” he said.