Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe says the National Fertiliser Policy will address challenges affecting the country’s fertiliser market, including selling of adulterated fertilisers.
Speaking in Lilongwe yesterday during the launch of the policy, the minister said it will, among other things, will make it easy for Parliament to pass the draft Fertiliser Bill into law.
Said Lowe: “This policy will promote efficient use of fertilisers and timely availability and accessibility of high quality fertiliser. It will also lead to increased use of appropriate cutting edge technologies in fertiliser usage.
“As a country, we need to create an enabling environment to attract investors to open a [fertiliser] manufacturing plant.”
On his part, Fertiliser Association of Malawi chairperson Dimitri Giannakis expressed optimism with the policy, saying: “It will facilitate regulation of the manufacturing, blending and selling of the appropriate fertilisers in the country”.
Among others, the policy will spearhead the formation of a National Fertiliser Commission to champion policing of fertiliser quality standards adherence by producers, blenders and suppliers.
It will also help increase the number of farmers accessing fertilisers by 70 percent while accessibility of soil analysis and fertiliser testing services is expected to increase by 50 percent.
During his tour of Malawi last week, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (Agra) chairperson Hailemariam Desalegn urged the Malawi Government to end blanket fertiliser application and expedite the fertliser policy to boost agricultural productivity.
The Ministry of Agriculture endorsed the National Fertiliser Policy draft in 2018. The policy encourages soil testing and extension support to improve the use and performance of fertilisers.