Some farmers in Eastern Province got ‘bonus’ inputs in the latest snag which hit the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) e-voucher payment system.
Chipata district commissioner Kalunga Zulu told africanfarming.com authorities became aware of certain farmers getting inputs twice, after being alerted by agro dealers in the district.
An investigation was launched to determine how widespread the problem is.
“We halted all payments and notified the issuing bank of those cards with double credits,” Zulu said.
An agro dealer who declined to be named said he established 32 cases of cards which were doubly credited. He claimed 10 of these farmers had already collected inputs on more than one occasion using the ‘bonus’ cards before collections were stopped.
“I realised the same bunch of farmers who collected their inputs the previous day were coming through and presenting the same cards. Surprisingly it had the same credit as before,” he said.
africanfarming.com is withholding the name of the bank which issued the cards.
Eastern Province received K80 million of the K600 million the government disbursed through FISP under a scaled-up e-voucher payment system. The system, which targets 602 521 farmers in 39 districts, is however plagued by input delays. This is now also coupled with racketeering schemes allegedly orchestrated by government officials.
The latest blunder adds to the tally of corrections which must be made before the next planting season, when the e-voucher system is expected to be implemented in full.