Government Includes Rice in Subsidy Programme
October 19, 2018 - Author: Paida Mpaso
Following several requests from different stakeholders within the agricultural sector, including the New Alliance Policy Acceleration Support (NAPAS:Malawi) Project, the government of Malawi has included rice to be part of the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP).
The Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development (MoAIWD) Mr. Josepha Mwanamvekha made the announcement in the Southern Region District of Balaka where he officially launched the programme for the 2018/2019 farming calendar.
The National Rice Development Platform (NRDP) stakeholder meeting which was held on the 15th and 16th of August 2018, in Lilongwe. At this meeting, NAPAS: Malawi Research and Policy Analyst, Joseph Kanyamuka made a presentation on "Agricultural Nutrition and Food Security Policies" affecting the rice sector in Malawi. Among others, Joseph highlighted that one of the ways the platform can position itself in the sector is by lobbying for various policy issues such as the inclusion of rice in FISP.
On policy Issues affecting the rice sector, Kanyamuka highlighted the following
• Low production and productivity – Access to inputs: fertilizer and quality seed – Research and extension; – adoption of improved varieties and agronomic practices
• Marketing – Limited access to reliable/lucrative markets – Quality aspect for export – Limited/poor market structures – Poor functioning Farmer Organizations (FOs)-associations/cooperatives
• Uncoordinated policies
• Limited enforcement of policies and regulations – Rice standards –AGPA-Minimum farm-gate prices – Exports/imports ban
Photo: NAPAS: Malawi trained journalist, tours a rice field belonging to a cooperative in Nkhotakota - Central Region Malawi