Cabinet has finally approved the Pilot Electronic Voucher system for the 2015/2016 marketing season under the Fertilizer Input Support Programme (FISP) for the Ministry of Agriculture and livestock.
Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Permanent Secretary Julius Shawa made the announcement at the official opening of the Electronic Voucher System Pilot Sensitization meeting for Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock staff at Mika Conventional Centre in Chongwe.
Mr. Shawa said the Electronic Voucher system is a pilot programme that will start with four provinces that include Central, Copperbelt, Lusaka and Southern as well as 13 districts in these provinces.
He said the programme will be rolled out to other provinces, noting that initially, the Electronic Voucher system could not take off in the past four seasons due to a number of challenges.
The objective of the E-Voucher System is to enable farmers to have access to subsidised inputs in a timely way, and encourage farmers to diversify because they will have access to a wide range of inputs to pick from.
Mr. Shawa said the promotion of the private sector participation was key to the success of the programme noting that the system will involve more Agro dealers unlike the conversional system that allowed inputs such as fertilizer to be distributed by one company.