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Paramount Holdings Limited, 12 others contracted to supply fertilizer in 2023-2024 subsidy program

Government has yet again contracted Paramount Holdings Limited to supply fertilizer under the 2023-2024 Affordable Input Programme (AIP).

The company is among 13 that the Ministry of Agriculture has entrusted with the responsibility to distribute subsidized chemical fertilizers in the next growing season.

Paramount Holdings Limited has maintained its track record of delivering in time all the inputs under the AIP since the Tonse Alliance government introduced the programme to provide high quality agricultural inputs to the farmers across the country through the support of various companies.

Agriculture remains the backbone of Malawi’s economy besides being a lifeline for the livelihood of every household. Hence, any support rendered to smallholder farmers plays a crucial role in the social and economic development of the nation.

Every family heavily rely on farming and yield of good crop. In addition to providing food and raw material, agriculture offers employment to a large population. Around 80 percent of the population rely directly on agriculture as a livelihood.

Without AIP, the supply of agricultural inputs such as urea and NPK would be limited, and the desired yield would not be achieved.

Paramount Holdings Limited has adequate fertilizers to supply to the beneficiaries of the Affordable Input Programme
Paramount Holdings Limited has adequate fertilizers to supply to the beneficiaries of the Affordable Input Programme

This would lead to disastrous outcomes such as the ruination of the livelihood of the population and the economy.

In 2021-2021, Paramount Holdings Limited (PHL) was the only company that successfully delivered its quota, including the most scare UREA.

The company supplied 61,340 metric tons to all the Smallholder Farmers’ Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM) depots of which 41, 350 tons were that of the scarce UREA fertilizer.

Despite the fact that the Government of Malawi is yet to pay for the inputs, PHL managers assured and reiterated their commitment to working with the government in promoting smallholder farmers through provision of high-quality inputs across the country.

The managers said they do understand the economic problems the government is facing; hence, their resolve to continue supporting and the farmers to produce enough for both consumption and sale.

“We will remain forever committed to the Government of Malawi as well as smallholder farmers in eliminating hunger and malnutrition in this country,” said one of the managers on Monday.

The Minister of Agriculture Sam Dalitso Kawale has disclosed that other companies contracted under the 2-23-2024 AIP include Optichem (2000) Limited, ETG Inputs Ltd, Farmers World, Afriventures Blantyre Limited, Mediterranean Fertilizers DMCC, Malawi Fertilizer Company, Saeed Investments, Chipala Investments, Sealand Investments Ltd, Midima Holdings Ltd, Chipiku Stores and Zathu Trading.

Kawale said the 13 companies will supply 149,164 metric tons of NPK and Urea fertilizer through the Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM).

“A few months ago, our President directed that all fertilizer procurements for the 2023 season should be done by end of June. Your Ministry of Agriculture wishes to inform you that it has awarded contracts to Optichem (2000) Limited, ETG Inputs Ltd, Farmers World, Afriventures Blantyre Limited, Mediterranean Fertilizers DMCC, Malawi Fertilizer Company, Saeed Investments, Chipala Investments, Sealand Investments Ltd, Midima Holdings Ltd, Chipiku Stores, Zathu Trading and Paramount Holdings Limited,” he said.

The minister stated that between these companies, about 80, 000MT of fertilizer is already in the country, which is 53 percent of what Malawi needs.

He said the balance will be in the country before the launch of the program.

“Procurement of transportation services is at advanced stage. Award of contracts to successful transporters is expected to be given by 31st July, 2023. The procurement of seeds and female goats for the programme will be advertised in widely circulated newspapers in a week starting from 2nd July 2023,” said Kawale.

The minister further disclosed that smallholder farmers will access all farm inputs before the first planting rains.

Kawale expressed his ministry’s commitment to ‘frequently give updates on the progress made in the implementation of the programme’.

“The smallholder farmers are requested to prepare their gardens in preparation for 2023/2024 growing season. The ministry is committed to continuously improve all the processes involved in accessing farm inputs as well as do things in a timely manner and ensure effectiveness, efficiency and productivity,” said the minister.

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