Zambian Finance Minister Felix Mutati says government will spend K2 billion to implement a fully-fledged electronic voucher (e-voucher) system under the Farmer Support Input Programme (FISP) during this year’s farming season.
The Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) meanwhile welcomed the full implementation of the e-voucher system.
The minister says migration to a comprehensive implementation will minimise the cost and inefficiencies of the past.
“We are concerned with the resource wastage and resultant costly transactions experienced over the years in the course of the implementation of the manual FISP,” Mutati said.
Last year’s roll-out of the pilot e-voucher system – targeting some 600 000 farmers – experienced numerous glitches resulting in the late delivery of inputs as the farming season got underway. More than 1.6 million farmers will be targeted under a new system.
Mutati said government is now in the process of identifying a technology solution which is expected to deliver timely and efficient transactions to farmers when the planting season started.
According to him, the desired technology should have multi-sectoral interface with government ministries, agencies, banks, agro dealers, transporters and farmers.
ZNFU Head of Business Development Coillard Hamusimbi said the complete implementation of the e-voucher system is long overdue.
Hamusimbi said technology will be the key to harnessing the process of meeting the expectations of farmers during the 2017/’18 farming season.
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