As part of major reforms to the Farmers Input Support Programme (FISP), farmers who have been on the system for ten years or more, will be removed. Zambian agriculture minister Dora Siliya says the exercise to cut long-standing beneficiaries must ensure the sustainability of the programme.
There has however been no indication of the number of farmers affected. It could run into hundreds. “We will review FISP to ensure beneficiaries only stay on the programme for three years, before migrating them into viable commercial farmers,” she says.
Siliya says next month’s review of FISP must also help solve many of its problems. The current season was plagued by delays and claims of racketeering schemes which led to massive financial losses for government. More than 1.6 million farmers are beneficiaries of FISP.
This planting season saw a scaled-up version of the electronic voucher (e-voucher) payment system aimed at making the system more efficient. A complete version of the e-voucher system will be implemented in the next planting season.