Government has rejected calls from some stakeholders to review the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) during the 2018/19 financial year.
In the 2018 Economic and Fiscal Policy Statement published by the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, government said it will maintain the number of beneficiaries at 900 000 farming households in the 2017/18 national budget.
“Under resilient livelihoods and agricultural systems, government will continue to implement Fisp. Government intends to maintain the number of beneficiaries and level of contribution of farmers per bag of fertiliser,” reads the statement in part.
During this year’s pre-budget consultation meetings in March, various stakeholders called for the abolishment of the programme, arguing that it drains the public purse and has not produced the intended results.
The stakeholders proposed that the funds meant for Fisp should be injected in other priority areas such as irrigation and industrialization.
According to the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Mvac) assessment, as at August 2017, the number of Malawians in need of food aid until the next harvest was at 836 766 while humanitarian food was estimated at K4.5 billion. This was, however, 87 percent down from the previous year’s 6.6 million people in need of food aid.
Published information on the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on Malawi’s food security, as at November 2017, indicates that food security conditions are anticipated to worsen later in 2018 due to the foreseen below average harvest.