17 November 2017
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Wednesday, 08 November 2017 20:57

Coupon distribution for 2017/18 season completed

Written by  Tione Andsen
Mwanamvekha: This has never happened before, it's a record: File Photo Mwanamvekha: This has never happened before, it's a record: File Photo

Lilongwe, November 8, 2017: Government has said distribution of coupons in the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) throughout the country has been completed. 

Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water development, Joseph Mwanamvekha disclosed this in Lilongwe during a press briefing when he updated the press on the progress of the 2017/18 FISP activities.

He said for the first time the Ministry has been able to provide the coupons to all beneficiaries by November 6, 2017 which has never happened before.

Mwanamveka attributed the positive progress to proper planning and organization his management had put in place to implement the programme.

“We are happy to report that all coupons have been distributed and the beneficiaries will now have a chance to access seeds and fertilizers from the selling points in various parts of the country,” he explained.

Mwanamvekha pointed out that it was pleasing to note that this has been done when the country has not started receiving heavy rains which normally hinder the progress of the programme.

The minister said although there was a stoppage of two weeks in the distribution exercise, this did not affect progress and things have gone on well.

“The Ministry has set up monitoring machinery to ensure that beneficiaries are supplied with quality seeds after it was reported that some suppliers were providing substandard seeds which could negatively impact the implementation of the programme. We sent out a team of researchers from the Ministry to verify the issue,” he told the press.

Mwanamvekha said suppliers were given specific markets to deliver input as was stipulated in their contracts.

“We have received reports of some beneficiaries selling coupons but we have managed to arrest some. Traditional leaders are the ones who reported the issue to us. In this regard I am of the view that it is the responsibility of every individual to ensure that coupons are well safeguarded from such malpractices,” he explained.

Principal Secretary in the Ministry, Grey Nyandule said the country has available stocks of fertilizers and beneficiaries would access them easily.

He said currently there were over 200,000 metric tonnes of fertilizers on the market to be used this growing season.

Over 900,000 beneficiaries were registered for this year’s programme.

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