Zambia Agro-Dealers Association(ZADA) says the E-voucher system is the most effective way of empowering small scale farmers because it limits the risk of fraud.
ZADA National Secretary Harry Banda says the E-voucher helps ensure that only the rightful beneficiaries access inputs.
Mr. Banda further maintained that the beneficiary farmer is the actual player who is redeeming the collection of farming inputs
“The E voucher is a more direct and transparent form of FISP,” he noted.
Some small scale farmers in Chibefwe agricultural camps have appealed to the government to boost the distribution of farm inputs under FISP by subsidized transportation of the collected farm inputs after the redeeming process.
Veston Lukona said that farmers from far flung travel long distances to complete the procedures involved in the FISP exercise, saying that there is a need to consider subsidizing the transportation of inputs.
“There is a need to fine tune the E-voucher system by engaging transporters to help reduce the costs incurred by farmers in the entire FISP exercise,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mkushi District Agriculture Committee (DACO) Chairperson Leonard Mashaka stated that his committee is making efforts to strengthen rapport with agro-dealers to ensure smooth implementation of FISP under the E-voucher system.
Mr. Mashaka also mentioned that the committee is considering engaging banks to undertake outreach programs to the far flung communities to cushion farmers from incurring high costs of travelling and lodging in the Boma in the FISP related procedures.
According to data obtained from Mkushi District Agricultural Coordination Officer (DACO) Ackim Milimo, 16,101 small scale farmers are earmarked to benefit from the 2023—2024 FISP exercise.