To ease your site search, article categories are at bottom of page.

June 28, 2009

Malawi increases fertiliser subsidy

by Mabvuto Banda

Malawi announced another cut to fertiliser prices under its subsidy programme in late June as part of efforts to boost food production in the country.

A 50kg bag of fertiliser will now cost 500 kwacha ($3.57) from 800 kwacha ($5.71), Andrew Daudi, secretary in the ministry of agriculture said. The cut is the second since last year, when prices were reduced to 800 kwacha from 900 kwacha per 50kg bag.

Malawi introduced the fertiliser and seed subsidy programme in 2004 and since then has recorded consecutive bumper harvests of maize, the country’s staple food. The increased output has also helped drive unprecedented economic growth above seven percent for the past three years.

“The secret has been the implementation of the inputs subsidy programme … since we started four years ago, we have recorded food surpluses and this year the final crop is at 3.8 million metric tonnes,” Daudi said.

He said the harvest represented a 36 percent increase from last year, when the country reaped 2.78 million metric tonnes of maize.

Malawi’s national maize requirement is between 2.2-2.4 million tonnes per year, Daudi said.

The inputs subsidy programme has been a major success in the country of 13 million and has managed to end nationwide food shortages. When it was introduced in 2004, the country recorded a maize surplus of 500,000 tonnes, far above the previous harvests before the subsidy started.

In the 2005/06 season, the harvest doubled to 1.1 million tonnes and in 2007/08, Malawi recorded its highest harvest in 10 years and exported 400,000 tonnes to hunger stricken Zimbabwe.

“For the programme to be successful we have been trying to put more people on the list of beneficiaries and last year we distributed fertiliser to 2 million people. We plan to increase that the next financial year,” Daudi said.

The subsidy programme has also has increased output of other food crops like rice and cassava.

According to Daudi, rice production increased to 135,000 tonnes in 2008 from about 100,000 tonnes the previous year, while cassava output also went up to 3.7 million metric tonnes last season from 3 million tonnes in the previous year.

“Therefore, we have more food surpluses … and this is thanks to the fertiliser subsidy programme,” he said.

African farming groups have called on governments in the continent to boost support to help farmers produce more food and compete internationally. African countries argue their products would be much cheaper than developed nations’ goods if trade-distorting tariffs and subsidies were removed.

Nyasa Times

Article Categories

AGRA agribusiness agrochemicals agroforestry aid Algeria aloe vera Angola aquaculture banana barley beans beef bees Benin biodiesel biodiversity biof biofuel biosafety biotechnology Botswana Brazil Burkina Faso Burundi CAADP Cameroon capacity building cashew cassava cattle Central African Republic cereals certification CGIAR Chad China CIMMYT climate change cocoa coffee COMESA commercial farming Congo Republic conservation agriculture cotton cow pea dairy desertification development disease diversification DRCongo drought ECOWAS Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia EU EUREPGAP events/meetings exports fa fair trade FAO fertilizer finance fisheries floods flowers food security fruit Gabon Gambia gender issues Ghana GM crops grain green revolution groundnuts Guinea Bissau Guinea Conakry HIV/AIDS honey hoodia horticulture ICIPE ICRAF ICRISAT IFAD IITA imports India infrastructure innovation inputs investment irrigation Ivory Coast jatropha kenaf keny Kenya khat land deals land management land reform Lesotho Liberia Libya livestock macadamia Madagascar maize Malawi Mali mango marijuana markets Mauritania Mauritius mechanization millet Morocco Mozambique mushroom Namibia NEPAD Niger Nigeria organic agriculture palm oil pastoralism pea pest control pesticides pineapple plantain policy issues potato poultry processing productivity Project pyrethrum rai rain reforestation research rice rivers rubber Rwanda SADC Sao Tome and Principe seed seeds Senegal sesame Seychelles shea butter Sierra Leone sisal soil erosion soil fertility Somalia sorghum South Africa South Sudan Southern Africa spices standards subsidies Sudan sugar sugar cane sustainable farming Swaziland sweet potato Tanzania tariffs tea tef tobacco Togo tomato trade training Tunisia Uganda UNCTAD urban farming value addition value-addition vanilla vegetables water management weeds West Africa wheat World Bank WTO yam Zambia Zanzibar zero tillage Zimbabwe

  © 2007 Africa News Network design by Ourblogtemplates.com

Back to TOP