241,000 farmers to pilot e-vouchers
Ndola, June 11, 2013, ZANIS – Government will this year introduce new the E voucher system to enable 241,000 small scale farmers access farming inputs.
The pilot project will be introduced in 10 districts across the country for the 2013/2014 farming season.
Deputy minister of chiefs and traditional affairs Susan Kawandami disclosed this during a sensitization meeting on the removal of maize subsidies with residents in Mitenge area of Chifubu constituency in Ndola yesterday.
Ms Kawandami who is also Chifubu Member of Parliament said the new system will be a pilot programme which will later be extended to other districts in the country.
She said government was concerned with the challenges that small scale farmers were facing in purchasing and access farming inputs.
“This system is flexible, it will enable farmers to have access to fertilizer, seeds and pesticides in a convenient manner, we do not want to have a system were our farmers delay to sell or acquire products and inputs because of having problems with the bank,” she explained.
Ms Kawandami said government would continue supporting small scale farmers despite removing the maize subsidies and double the payments for the Farmer Input Support Programme-FISP.
She said farmers will be allowed to butter fertilizer with maize in the next marketing season.
Ms Kawandami who is in her constituency to explain the benefits of the removal of maize subsidies urged the people to be patient with the government as they would soon realize the benefits of the decision.