The Zambian government has said the Electronic Voucher (e-voucher) system to be introduced under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) will be implemented in the 2013/2014 farming season.
Agriculture and Livestock Deputy Minister Rodgers Mwewa told Parliament this week that the Zambian government would initially implement the e-voucher system in a pilot project in 10 selected districts.
Responding to Kasenengwa Member of Parliament Victoria Kalima of the opposition Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), who wanted to know the benefits of the e-voucher system, Mwewa said it was a cost-effective and allowed for proper evaluation of the programme.
“Beneficiaries of the programme would receive their vouchers through their mobile phones and if they lost their vouchers they could still use their phones to retrieve them,” Mwewa said.
He said under the e-voucher system, beneficiaries could be easily targeted since they would be registered in the system.
Mwewa said farmers would be easily tracked and the Zambian government would be able to monitor the farmers in their activities.
Among the districts to benefit from the pilot projects are Chongwe, Kalomo, Chibombo, Mazabuka and Ndola.
Mwewa said that e-voucher system had been used in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, where it had proved to be successful.
He said instead of using middlemen in the process, farmers would directly collect vouchers in a transparent and cost-effective manner.