GOVERNMENT PRIVATE SECTOR MEET OVER FISP
- Published: Thursday, 02 February 2017 22:12
As efforts to intensify the delivery of the FISP programme across the country continue, government has indicated that it is contemplating on up-scaling the private sector involvement in the implementation of 2016/17 FISP programme after a successful pilot study last year. This was revealed at a conference organized by the African Institute of corporate Citizenship (AICC) that aimed at discussing the future prospects of the FISP in Malawi.
Speaking during the conference, the Chief Director in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Brighton Kumwembe indicated that government has decided to upscale private sector involvement in FISP implementation as one way of improving service delivery of the programme. Kumwembe said government recognize that there are several challenges FISP programme was facing in the past that can be dealt with if the private sector was fully engaged.
“The FISP programme will continue to undergo various reforms as we strive to ensure that the programme is carried out effectively, the involvement of the private sector is one of the reforms that government has decided to implement this year as one way of improving the input delivery system. As government we realize that there are some challenges that we meet during the implementation phase that the private sector can ably address, for example issues of transportation, we used to face a number of challenges in transporting and distributing inputs such that we could miss deadlines at times but our belief is that once we decentralize the process and leave it in the hands of the private sector such challenges will be mitigated easily” said Kumwembe.
A study that was conducted by to establish the effectiveness of involving the private sector in retailing of FISP inputs revealed that as much as they were strong positives of the process there was a also need to pay attention to some aspects that tend to be overlooked at times. The study that was done in central and southern region districts, where the private sector fertilizer retailing pilot study was conducted established that as much as the private sector can be an effective distribution and retailing tool for the inputs. Some players shun hard to reach areas as at times they incur a lot of cost than what they anticipated. Furthermore the study also established that in some scenarios the locals, do not trust the private sectors as they think they are there there to exploit them.
Reacting to the presentation, members of the private sector that were present during the conference admitted that the issue of shunning hard to reach areas can indeed occur especially when there is no difference in terms of returns between players delivering in easy to reach areas and hard to reach areas. The members argued that economically, this meant the probability of realizing more profits is diminished hence members shunning such places. However the members suggested that an effective way of ensuring that this does not take place was to introduce incentives for the players allocated in hard to reach areas.
The private sector involve is yet another reform that has been implemented after the programme was introduced some 16 years ago. AICC has been participating in FISP since 2013/14 season by among others, coming up with innovative models aimed at increasing efficiency and stimulating private sector participation. AICC participated in the 2015/16 FISP Private sector fertilizer supply chain management which government piloted the incorporation of the private sector in the FISP programme to ensure that the programme is carried out effectively.