Africa-Press – Malawi. President Lazarus Chakwera’s Tonse government through the Ministry of Agriculture has refuted rumours that MK30 billion meant for 2022/2023 Affordable Input Program (AIP) has gone missing.
According to a press statement the ministry issued on Thursday and was signed by its Principal Secretary, Sandra Maweru, government engaged Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM) as is always the case to process procurement of fertilizers for the season.
“SFFRFM made contracts with a number of companies to supply 2022/2023 AIP fertilizers and one of such companies was a UK based company called Barkaat Foods Limited which has a production line with a well known supplier, Yara Limited (UK), for an initial 25, 000 metric tons of fertilizers.
“SFFRFM was requested to pay a commitment fee amounting to US$727, 000 ( about MK750 million) to lock the price, which was remitted through Ecobank,” reads the statement in part.
However, the company failed to supply the fertilizers and subsequently terminated the contract and agreed to transfer the fee back to SFFRFM through the same back.
On Tuesday this week, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Samir Suleman, was on record to have told the nation that the Ministry of Agriculture has been ripped off MK30 billion meant for this season’s AIP by a UK based company.