In the latest FISP scam scores of agriculture extension officers are allegedly selling yet to be released Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) electronic voucher (e-voucher) cards for the 2017/2018 farming season.
Zambia National Association for Youth in Agriculture (ZNAYAD) president Lazarous Mulenga told local media the alleged practice of selling e-voucher cards is widespread, with a higher concentration in Southern Province.
“It is no secret that some farmers in many districts have more than one e-voucher card,” Mulenga said.
He claimed the black market for e-voucher cards is run by agriculture extension officers.
“This has been reported in many districts, but is worse in Kalomo, where some farmers have as many as ten e-voucher cards,” Mulenga said.
He said legitimate beneficiaries will be disadvantaged by anticipated shortages of inputs, arising from the illegal sale of e-voucher cards. The Ministry of Agriculture has not yet reacted to ZNAYAD’s claims.
This year, government will spend K2billion to implement a fully-fledged e-voucher system. Last year’s roll-out of the pilot system, targeting some 600 000 farmers, was fraught with glitches and malpractices.
Finance Minister Felix Mutati earlier this year said the new system will curtail malpractices and improve efficiency in the administration of FISP. This year, the programme will target 1 million small-scale farmers.
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