Zambia’s maize marketing season begins next month, and their government is planning to use an electronic voucher card system this for 2013/2014 season.
Employing mobile phone technology, the e-vouchers are scheduled to use a mobile phone delivery and tracking system to distribute supported inputs to targeted farmers. The pilot project is said to be hosted in ten districts across the country for this years farming season.
A web-based interface is set to be used and planned to be accessed by the beneficiary farmers through their mobile phones under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).
Zambia government stated that the new system could improve service delivery as well as eliminate corruption in the supply of farming inputs to farmers.
The system will be managed by Zambia’s ministry of agriculture. The minister, Bob Sichinga said that the tender to select the service provider will be concluded this month.
He added that registration will be made per individual farmer as well as communication not through farming cooperatives and therefore expects that corruption will be curbed completely.
The Zambian government said that its intention to launch the e-voucher system is because most people benefiting from FISP through cooperatives were farmers from the same cooperatives and not poor resource citizens.
The government added that the e-voucher system would be easy to use as the farmers will have to cash the e-voucher system with the agro-dealers in their areas.