Agri-business Business

45,000 farmers to participate in FISP

ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
ABOUT 45,000 farmers in Kasama and Mungwi districts are expected to participate in the 2016/17 farmer input support programme (FISP) distribution under the electronic voucher (E-voucher) system.
Northern Province agriculture coordinator Andrew Banda said engaging farmers in innovative programmes such as the E-voucher will encourage crop diversification among small-scale farmers, and further reduce poverty.
Mr Banda said the new system of FISP distribution will enhance private sector participation as it will involve more agro-dealers unlike the conversional system that allowed inputs such as fertiliser to be distributed by one company.
This is according to a Zambia National Farmers’ Union weekly brief availed to the Daily Mail on Monday.
“I am happy with the introduction of the E-voucher programme in Kasama and Mungwi districts. I am happy to note that all the concerned district agricultural coordinators are aware of the development and they have already started mobilising themselves in readiness for the exercise,” he said.
Meanwhile, farmers have been urged to fully utilise the livestock development and animal health project (LDAHP) matching grants, which among other facilities include livestock improvement, pasture management and forage development.
ZNFU says the farmers were further urged to aim at increasing their incomes through the diversification of crop and livestock farming.
“The LDAHP will also help create a pathway to pull farmers out of poverty and could be easily achieved by fully utilising the available matching grant facility,” the union says.

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