Government has confirmed officials were involved in unlawfully selling inputs and embezzling cash under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).
In a related development the Zambian National Farmers Union (ZNFU) has threatened to ban agro dealers who were inflating prices, from participating in the FISP e-voucher system in future.
“We are aware of some officers who are abusing FISP, and we are compiling a list of the perpetrators to be dealt with in terms of the appropriate sanctions,” Zambian agriculture minister Dora Siliya said in Lusaka on Wednesday.
Siliya said there would be no holy cows when flushing out those hampering government efforts in providing farmer inputs to vulnerable smallholder farmers.
“Let me assure you that we will deal with these abusers, following the due process,” she said.
Meanwhile, ZNFU president Jervis Zimba said his organisation was dealing with those exploiting farmers.
“We have no option but to blacklist all those who were exploiting farmers by pegging prices above the recommended wholesale prices,” Zimba said.
ZNFU has since directed its regional managers to monitor dealers and urged farmers to report overcharging.
Zimba said ZNFU would propose provincial flat rates as an additional mechanism to curb exploitation as provinces would have uniform prices for inputs.