Complete overhaul of cooperatives registration is needed to get rid of Ghost Farmers


The Department of Agriculture in Eastern Province has proposed for a complete overhaul of cooperatives registration to clean up the database.

The department in the region has also suggested the need to introduce a biometric system of capturing fingerprints in identifying farmers when collecting inputs in order to reduce pilferage.

Provincial Agricultural Coordinator (PACO) Bisa Bwalya says the complete overhaul of the cooperatives registration is the only way to get rid of alleged ghost farmers from the system.

ZANIS reports that Ms Bwalya explained that her department does not have means to verify genuine farmers who were supposed to benefit from agricultural inputs.

‘’There is need to do an overhaul registration in the province so that we clean up the system and get rid of alleged ghost workers. It is very unfortunate that there are reports of ghost farmers and cooperatives, a situation which does not please officers in the province,’’ Ms. Bwalya said.

The Provincial Agricultural Coordinator was reacting to concerns farmers in the district raised that some cooperatives have ghost farmers being used to obtain fertiliser at the expense of genuine names.

This was during the farmers’ interactive meeting with the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture held at St. Margret’s Secondary school in Chipangali.

Ms Bwalya also observed that a biometric system of capturing fingerprints once used to identify farmers when collecting inputs would reduce pilfering using ghost farmers.

Earlier, the farmers accused agricultural camp officers and camp agricultural chairpersons of conniving and registering cooperatives with names of individuals who did not exist.

In February this year, two agricultural officers acting together with four individuals in the district were arrested after being accused of stealing 139 x 50 kilogram bags of fertilizer meant for farmers under the FISP.

Chipangali district has 16, 460 registered farmers under the Farmer Input Support Programme, according to information at the District Agricultural Coordinator’s office.

Meanwhile, Ms Bwalya also said there was need for government to give authority to the treasury so that staff is beefed up in Chipangali district.

She said out of 31 agricultural camps, only 18 are manned by camp officers thereby forcing some officers to man two camps while other camps were being supervised by block extension officers.


  1. What will derail the UPND Government is its paranoia and phobia for PF. All registered institutions file annual returns whose info is verified. If there are ghost farmers or cooperatives they aren’t a creation of farmers but criminal officers. As long as yourselves aren’t honest there’s no system that’ll get rid of corruption. This applies to almost all institutions. Sylvia canceled all medical supply contracts on suspicion that they were linked to the PF an act that caused a serious shortage of drugs. Kabuswe has canceled all mining licenses on the same reasons, Kapala has shortlisted foreign pole suppliers on the same reasons, what kind of human-beings are these?

  2. If you have experience with Coops you will know they are not well organised and neither are they fair with their members
    the board members get all the benifits
    And for your Info not all file their yearly returns

  3. The problem with this govt is that the talk and talk before undertaking any actions…by the time they decide to take action the evidence is destroyed and ghosts vanish in thin air. Just look what happened at ZESCO and ZAMTEL it was well known that there were Ghost workers there, I knew PF cadres who were paid and had company Ford Rangers who did nothing there but PF duties. This govt should have removed all management then did an audit…you can not do an audit with the same people who work there.

  4. #1 Very simple as you have explained. There’s no way a co-op can receive inputs without making annual returns. Ghost farmers are officers themselves. A few DACOs have ended up committing suicide over misapplied inputs.

  5. And why is it that there are the same beneficiaries on the FISP program. When is the ministry of Agriculture going to wean off those that have been on FISP for more than 5yrs to allow new upcoming farmers to also benefit? Why is this New Dawn so slow in implementing good things?

  6. #6 Join a cooperative and show proof of land…. you will be new member with full benefits like everyone else…. that’s if there will still be fisp

  7. I refuse to work with cooperatives. I worked with three of them, and all three had corrupt board members which ensured they were getting all the goodies. And upon any complaining they just bribed the ministry. Never more!

  8. In Kanakantampa, no new names have been allowed to be included for FISP in the past 10yrs.
    We have been denied even for the coming season that no new names will be accepted.

  9. Why did you not report the names to ACC? The fight for corruption csnmot be won by HH and ministers alone. We must all be determined to bring to book all those culprits. They must pay back or be imprisoned

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