First release: June 1, 2021
Although the agriculture sector is dominant in the Malawian economy, it is bedeviled by low agricultural productivity. To address this challenge, the Government of Malawi administered the Farm Inputs Subsidy Program (FISP) from 2004/05 to 2019/20, which the new government replaced in the 2020/21 agricultural season with the Affordable Inputs Program (AIP). This rapid assessment, conducted in December 2020, was carried out to gauge the extent to which the AIP has been able to achieve its goals at the implementation phase of the program. We highlight some successes, such as reaching the target of dramatically increasing the number of farmer recipients. However, we also identify many challenges that were faced, leading to delays and difficulty for farmers accessing the subsidized inputs. We catalogue these issues and their root causes, along with proposing steps to improve farmer input use.
Electronic delivery and expansion of beneficiary rolls marke some of achievements of AIP, but delays and other problems hampered the 2020 rollout.