National FISP Symposium: Impact and what next?

Honorable Dr. Allan Chiyembekeza giving keynote address

Honorable Dr. Allan Chiyembekeza giving keynote address

The National Farm Input Subsidy Programme Symposium, ‘Eight years of FISP – Impact and what next?’, was held on July 14-15, 2014 at the Bingu International Conference Centre. Local and global experts came together to review the state of evidence on the impacts of the program, debate the core objectives and main implementation challenges, and discuss the way forward.

The symposium—which brought together 175 stakeholders, including senior government officials, parliamentarians, private sector actors (particularly from the seed and fertilizer industries), civil servants, farmer representatives, students, and academics—focused on examining the achievements and challenges of the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP), which has been the major agricultural development program of the government of Malawi over the past eight years. In spite of the diversity of attendees, consensus emerged from the discussions.

It was agreed that the FISP is an essential part not only of agricultural development but also of Malawi’s overall economic development. However, for the program to be effective, participants noted the need to recognize its current inefficiencies.

The challenges facing the FISP are not insurmountable. Nevertheless,  any reforms will require political will and  should be based on sound technical evidence, such as that which was presented in the symposium.

The event was hosted by the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), in collaboration with IFPRI's Malawi Strategy Support Program (MaSSP). With financial support from USAID, the symposium was jointly organized with the Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM), the Civil Society Agriculture Network (CISANET), the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the African Development Bank, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and the Donor Committee on Agriculture and Food Security.

Visit the event webpage to view the symposium’s presentations. The proceedings will be published soon and summarize these presentations as well as the surrounding discussion and the final exercise wherein stakeholders worked in small groups to come up with specific next steps for improving the FISP program. In addition, a short policy note outlining the event outcomes is being drawn up.

 

Media coverage:

“Gvt to register 1.5 Million FISP beneficiaries”

“FISP's Mk500 Tag Price Economically Senseless – Experts”

"Malawi urged to consider the role of subsidized input program"