MALAWI | Ombudsman releases report on agriculture subsidy program

The Office of the Ombudsman in Malawi has officially released an investigation report following a Systemic Investigation it conducted on the Implementation of the Agriculture Subsidy Program dubbed the Affordable Input Program (AIP).

The Investigation was done over the 2022/2023 and the 2023/2024 Growing Seasons.

Honorable Ombudsman Grace Malera has titled the report A Report on Systemic Investigations on the Affordable Inputs Programme Implementation for the 2022/23 and 2023/2024 Growing Seasons: The Successes, the Irregularities and the Failures – A call for Re-thinking and Reprogramming.

In the report she makes various recommendations and directives which aim at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the program whose aim is to contribute to national food security.

According to Malera the Comprehensive and Systemic Investigation was carried out following receipt of several complaints relating to the AIP from members of the general public.

The report which has since been made available on the Malawi Ombudsman Website covers thematic areas of: Accountability and Transparency; Ethics; Compliance; Integrity; Responsiveness and Effectiveness and Efficiency; of the AIP in its design/conceptualization and operationalization.

We have also covered functional issues such as, accessibility of the inputs, cost effectiveness, utility and operational efficiency of the Programme, the investigations focused on broad structural issues relating to: internal controls in public financial management; public procurement; public investments and delivery of the programme,” honorable Malera said.

The Ombudsman has in the report highlighted that the outcomes of the AIP do not measure up to the huge resources invested in the program saying that should be an issue of concern.

She has directed the Government through the Ministries of Finance and Agriculture to investigate and institute necessary disciplinary sanctions against public officers who were involved in unethical conduct over various financial transactions in the programme.

Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture in Malawi Sam Kawale has said the different government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to comply with the directives.


Source: Office of the Ombudsman, Malawi

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