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Malawi: Chakwera Defies Donors On Aip As Govt Registers 2.5m Beneficiaries

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President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has defied donor demands by continuing with Affordable Input Program.

At least 1.5 Malawians have started accessing government’s heavily subsidised farm inputs after President Chakwera officially launched this year’s AIP on Friday.

Donors have been demanding that the government phases out the program, saying it was a drain on public resources.

President Dr Chakwera said his administration would continue with the AIP, saying it benefits ordinary poor people who could not afford a bag of fertilizer at the commercial market.

A bag of fertilizer costs about K90,000 the country must get into serious agricultural productivity to turn around the economy.

Chakwera said the country must exploit the opportunities in the agriculture sector to produce more crops for both consumption and export.

He said Malawi must start generating its own funds through agricultural commercialisation to become self-reliant and be able to finance its development needs without relying on borrowing.

“The achievement of food security for every household in Malawi is one of this government’s priorities. Dependency cannot drive the country forward. Everyone in their homes, villages and towns must be self-reliant and that is what will earn us some respect.

“But if we are to be self-reliant, we have to adopt modern methods of agriculture and mechanise our farming.”

He said Malawi cannot develop if it relies on debts hence the need for farmers to get into cooperatives as the country establishes mega farms.