Assessing the Feasibility of Implementing the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) through an Electronic Voucher System in Zambia
Sitko, Nicholas J.
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A number of problems plague the current Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), including: late delivery of inputs; distribution of standardized inputs that may not be appropriate for all agro-ecological zones or soil types; crowding out of private sector; poor targeting, and; high cost to the government treasury. The Government of Zambia has yet to pilot an e-voucher system for FISP due to concerns that the private sector in rural Zambia lacks the capacity to effectively provide farmers with inputs and that a failure of FISP would have negative consequences for national food security. Analysis of existing e-voucher systems in Zambia suggests that e-vouchers can be used to distribute FISP inputs to farmers, particularly in high potential agricultural regions. Moreover, the use of e-vouchers for FISP can effectively address many of the problems that plague the current distribution system.