The much publicized 2017/2018 FISP e-voucher system has not worked very well in Mpulungu District. According to the farmers butten, as at this week, only 5,000 e-voucher cards out of 9, 500 have been received in Mpulungu, but even these have not been activated.
The Ministry of Agriculture through the Ass. DMDO Mrs. Beauty Mukonka was able to confirm to ZNFU that these cards will be used in the coming season as the distribution is almost coming to a close.
Farmers have resorted to accessing inputs through alternative systems put in place by the banks and the Ministry of Agriculture, working in collaboration with input suppliers.
Only three Agro dealers (Neria Investment, Mumocha and Better Changes) have participated out of eight (8) approved Agro Dealers.
About 7,125 packs have been distributed translating into 75% out of 9,500 packs of total allocation to the district, the distribution of these inputs is still an ongoing, the cumulative total number of pack issued will be known after the program comes to a halt, however the K400 pack deposits by farmers have since come to a close.
The other Agro dealers have failed to participate due to cited challenges of where to source for inputs on credit. The Ministry of Agriculture through the PACO Northern Province had written a letter (Dec 2017) requesting all Agro Dealers to start giving out inputs to farmers on credit, were as the Agro dealer is given a list of names of farmers from the DACO’s office and the farmer provides an identity card and signs against their names on the list.
Then the Agro Dealer gives out the inputs and waits for his payment from govt to be given to them after six weeks, this discouraged most Agro dealers who lacked enough capacity other agro dealers opted in withdrawing their inputs and man power they had brought to the district, ZNFU had an opportunity to interact with a number of Agro Dealers who availed this information to them.