About 40 500 farmers are expected to benefit from the 2018/19 Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) in Mchinji, the District Agriculture Office (DAO) has said.
The number represents an increase from 36 800 beneficiaries in the 2017/18 farming season.
Speaking during the launch of distribution of Fisp coupons in Mchinji on Tuesday, programme manager for Kasungu Agriculture Development Division (ADD), George Kapelemera, warned officials involved in the distribution of coupons against selling them.
“I warn you to desist from corruption. Do not create your own names of beneficiaries. If you are found selling coupons, you will face the law because the programme is meant to help vulnerable farmers to buy farm inputs at a subsidised price,” he said.
Kapelemera urged responsible officers to put in place measures that can minimise challenges faced in the previous years by ensuring that only intended beneficiaries benefit from the programme.
On his part, Mchinji district agriculture development officer Precious Chautsi said he was pleased that the number of beneficiaries has increased.
He advised farmers against selling the coupons, but buy the inputs to help them attain food security in their households.
Government introduced Fisp in 2005 to enhance poor farmers’ access to improved agricultural farm inputs and to achieve food sufficiency and increased income of rural households.