Monitor co-operatives, State urged

FARMERS in Petauke have urged Government to monitor operations of some co-operatives benefiting from the farmer input support programme (FISP) to give supplies genuine small-scale producers access supplies.
Recently, various stakeholders have been calling for the creation of a robust farmers’ register to enable Government track beneficiaries of FISP to avoid ‘ghost’ beneficiaries.
According to the Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) weekly brief availed to Daily Mail, many small-scale farmers in Chief Nyamphande’s area in Petauke are of the view that the programme has not addressed the issues it was designed for such as to enable them boost their food security.
“Most cooperatives have ‘ghost’ members. [We] are therefore, calling on Government through the office of the district agricultural coordinator to take keen interest in monitoring the operations of some co-operatives benefiting from FISP,”
“The farmers in Chief Nyamphande’s area have noticed with concern that some of the co-operatives that are on the FISP do not have genuine membership hence depriving the genuine small-scale farmers from accessing the farming inputs,” ZNFU says.
The ZNFU, however, says farmers are happy with Government’s move to introduce the E-voucher system as a way of eradicating ‘ghost’ beneficiaries and give an opportunity to genuine farmers’ access to the inputs especially the vulnerable women in the remote parts of the district.

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