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.
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.
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
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.