Lilongwe — Affordable Input Programme (AIP) database cleaning has reduced number of intended beneficiaries to 3, 675,972 from 4,279,100 for this year's implementation process.
Minister of Agriculture, Lobin Lowe disclosed this Thursday in Lilongwe during AIP Media briefing alongside Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako and Minister Civic Education and National Unity, Timothy Mtambo.
He said reasons for the reduction of the beneficiaries include deaths, duplication and farming households which could not be traced.
Lowe explained that the programme would cover all the 3.6 million stallholder farming households in the country which include the less privileged like the elderly, orphans and child headed households.
"I would like to command the system since it has assisted to identify and eliminate ghost farmers from the system who were not the intended beneficiaries," the Minister added.
He said the Ministry has completed entering famers' national identification details on database in collaboration with Ministries of Local government and Home Land Security.
Lowe added that 3, 648, 052 beneficiaries from the data have been cleaned, linked to National Registration Bureau (NRB) database and uploaded into e-system.
The Minister said 251,020 farmers representing 7 per cent of targeted beneficiaries have redeemed their fertilizers while 226, 887 representing 6 percent have collected their seed allocations.
Kazako said this year's AIP had encountered some network challenges that delayed the redeeming process of the inputs.
He said network providers Airtel and TNM have worked tirelessly in order to resolve the network challenges the system was facing.
Kazako added that," the challenge was the Input Suppliers were not use gadgets that were compatible to the system hence they had problem in redeeming processes."
He pointed out that Input suppliers have been urged to use gadgets that would serve them better in terms of doing their transactions.
Mtambo said AIP is not a political programmes but it is a government programme aimed at improving household food security in the country.
He said no one should try to politicize the AIP for their own benefit by trying to sabotage it by creating false information.
"We need to guard against some misinformation being issued through social media that AIP was for all people who have national IDs," Mtambo warned.