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Farmers back govt on East Bridge fertilizer deal

Concerned farmers in Central and Northern Region districts of Malawi have backed the decision by the Malawi Government to start procurement processes for the Affordable Input Programme (AIP) in time.

However, the farmers have expressed disappointment with what they described as attempts by some people to stop the processes, fearing this will delay delivery of the inputs.

They were reacting to reports that some experts raised eyebrows with the agreement the Malawi Government has signed with a Romanian company – East Bridge – for this year’s AIP.

East Bridge is a Romanian firm that deals in agriculture, real estate, medicine, e-government and renewable energy.

Bertha Sikelo of Madisi commended the government for initiating the process way before the rainy season.

Sikelo said this will help the government finalize procurement and distribution exercises before rains come.

“We need to encourage the government to finalize this deal in good time so that distribution of the inputs can also start months before the rainy season. That will translate into bumper harvest next year,” she said.

Banankhulani Chisambi of Loti Chisambi Village in Traditional Authority M’mbelwa in Mzimba said early procurement of the inputs will motivate the farmers to start preparing their fields beforehand.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe has disclosed that the commodity exchange deal will relieve the country of the pressure it usually faces to source foreign exchange.

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