BUTTYSON KANDIMBA, Solwezi
A TOTAL of 7,000 small-scale farmers are expected to benefit from subsidised inputs in Kabompo district in the 2017/2018 farming
season through the electronic voucher system being rolled out across the country.
Kabompo district agriculture co-ordinator Peter Chibizwa said in an interview yesterday that the number of small-scale farmers benefitting from the inputs this year in the district has reduced from 13,100 farmers during the 2016/2017 farming season to 7,000 this coming farming season.
Mr Chibizwa said the rolling out of the e-voucher system to the district has helped remove ghost farmers who were benefitting from inputs that were being distributed under the conventional system.
“The e-voucher system has really helped to eliminate ghost farmers because the conventional system was weak, so even ghost farmers were accessing the inputs,” he said.
He said the e-voucher system will ensure only the intended small-scale farmers benefit from the subsidised inputs and enable Government save on resources.
Mr Chibizwa also said his office is in the process of identifying agro dealers to help in the successful implementation of the e-voucher system in the district through inputs distribution to farmers.
“We are in the process of identifying agro dealers locally to help distribute the inputs but we may have to import one or two agro dealers if the local ones seem not to have the capacity,” he said.
Mr Chibizwa also said his office is working closely with various co-operatives across the district to identify small-scale farmers to benefit from the inputs using the e-voucher system.