Parliamentary Committee Agriculture Committee has forecast a fertiliser shortage, saying the 37 000 metric tonnes (MT) government has procured for the Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) will not be enough to cater for all beneficiaries.
The committee’s vice-chairperson Ulemu Chilapondwa said in an interview government needs to procure at least 400 000 MT for the programme to avoid a shortage of the commodity as experienced last year.
He said they inspected the Smallholder Farmers Fertiliser Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRM) warehouses, where they found the 37 000 MT of fertilisers.
Chilapondwa said: “We know that this is October, and very soon, we might have the first rains and then if fertiliser is not available, people will panic.”
In an interview, SFFRM executive director Richard Chikunkhuzeni assured that more fertiliser will be shipped into the country soon.
He said: “The Ministry of Agriculture has all the data on the fertiliser that will be imported under AIP.”
Ministry of Agriculture spokesperson Gracian Lungu concurred with Chikunkhuzeni, saying: “We have indeed made several procurements of fertilisers for AIP apart from the stock at SFFRM.”
Last month, the Fertiliser Association of Malawi (FAM) also expressed concern that the country risk running short of fertilisers as private fertiliser suppliers have a deficit of about 260 000 MT that needs to be imported between September and November to meet the demand of 350 000 MT.