Subsidy Program Should be Abolished – Jumbe

By: Eric Nantchengwa

An Agricultural expert Felix Jumbe has urged the government to abolish Subsidy Program and adopt user-pay concept to develop agriculture and facilitate  food security in the country.

Jumbe: Fisp encouraging laziness?
Jumbe: Fisp encouraging laziness?

According to Jumbe, who is also The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, the user-pay concept is aimed for  a sustainability of  every program that government embarks on and every responsibility of paying for  the services remain in the hands of the duty bearer not government in this case farmers themselves.

Jumbe stressed that Subsidy Program is encouraging laziness among Malawians and needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later.

”It is unfortunate that people in the country have come to believe that  the program is a social security service and it is  pathetic that the  system keeps the poor to remain poor because they become more dependent  on the government provided services and they end up losing the sense of  original thinking,” he said.

He further advised politicians to desist using the Subsidy Program as a campaign tool and way of enhancing their political mileage.  “It encourages people to sit idle and wait for government to do everything for them a thing which corrupts their sense of hard work”. Concluded Jumbe.

What will abolishing it mean for people like her?
What will abolishing it mean for people like her?

According to Jumbe, the program, in the long run, has the effect of  impoverishing smallholder farmers.  As to improvise and graduate  from Subsidy Program Jumbe proposed that  government should introduce other initiatives such as cooperatives, farming  clubs and provision of loans to farmers as one way of enhancing
agricultural productivity.

Fisp was established ten years ago with a view to helping the poor and vulnerable have access to subsidized farm inputs like seeds and fertilizer.  However, in recent years, it has come under intense criticism due to the politicization of the program.

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