Towards an Understanding of the Implementation of the Farmer Input Support Programme Electronic Voucher in Choma District, Zambia

Nkumbu Nalwimba, Gubo Qi, George T. Mudimu


The realization that agriculture input subsidies at times do not reach targeted communities has pushed many governments to consider ways of cutting subsidy costs, improve targeting of poorer households and eventual withdrawal from subsidizing agriculture. Against this background in the year 2015 Zambia adopted an e-voucher system as way to bolster FISP. This study focused on the implementation of the pilot e-voucher in Choma District in the Southern Province of Zambia. A qualitative approach was used to gather data from farmers, banks, farmer representative organizations and other key stakeholders. This study focused on key aspects of e-voucher implementation, such as beneficiary targeting, stakeholders’ roles, input distribution and redeeming processes. The study noted that e-voucher system ushered in some benefits such as increased transparency, reduction of ghost farmers, rural employment creation, increased input accessibility for farmers and lowered the government’s administrative costs on inputs delivery. On the other hand, the implementation of the e-voucher faced some challenges such as bank system breakdown, abuse of the facility as farmers purchased food items and other non-agricultural inputs such as iron sheets that are not covered by the subsidy and delays in e-voucher activation by the contracted banks. Going forward this study recommends more policing of agro dealers and early disbursement of funds by the government.

Keywords: e-voucher; implementation; input subsidy; smallholder farmers; FISP; Zambia

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