By Bernadette Deka-Zulu (PhD Researcher-Public Enterprises)
YOU may have heard of the Farmers Input Support Programme, or “FISP” for short. It’s a system that provides farmers with vouchers to buy agricultural inputs such as seeds, fertiliser, and herbicides among others.
The FISP was first introduced in Zambia back in 2006 as a way to help farmers improve their yields and increase their income. Fairly, the programme has been a success, gradually improving with a number of process re-engineering-over the years to make it more accessible to beneficiaries.
The model has been expanded to other countries in the region including Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.
In this post, we aim to give you an overview of the FISP e-voucher system including how it works and who is eligible for participation.
What Is the E-Voucher System?
You may be wondering what the e-voucher system is. Simply put, it’s a way to provide farmers with the support they need to grow their businesses, through digital means.
The e-voucher system is a digital platform that allows farmers to buy inputs like seeds, fertilisers, and pesticides online. This helps reduce the amount of time and money they spend travelling to buy these items in person.
Plus, it’s a more efficient way to distribute inputs to farmers across the country. The e-voucher system has already helped over 2.5 million farmers get the support they need to grow their businesses.
How does the E-Voucher system work?
The E-Voucher system was introduced to make it easier for farmers to access inputs. The programme is based on the principle of cash transfers, which means that farmers are given money to buy the inputs they need.
The E-Voucher system is administered through a voucher that’s given to the farmer. The voucher can be used to buy agricultural inputs from registered input suppliers. The farmer then takes the voucher to the input supplier, who will give them the agricultural inputs they need.
This system has been quite successful in Zambia, and it’s been able to reach more farmers than ever before. It has also helped to improve the quality of the inputs that are being bought by farmers.
Who is eligible for the E-Voucher system?
So who is eligible for the e-voucher system?
Farmers who are registered with the Agricultural Inputs Distributor (AID) and have a valid Farmer Identity Card (FIC) are automatically eligible for the e-voucher system. In addition, small-scale farmers who are not registered with AID but have a FIC are also eligible to participate in the e-voucher system.
To receive input support through the e-voucher system, farmers must first buy input vouchers from authorised input dealers. The input dealers then redeem the input vouchers for inputs from authorised suppliers.
What are the benefits of the E-Voucher system?
The e-voucher system is a new way of delivering agricultural inputs to farmers. Under this system, farmers are given electronic vouchers which they can use to buy inputs from authorised input dealers.
The main benefits of the e-voucher system are: (1) it eliminates the need for farmers to travel long distances to buy inputs; (2) it guarantees that farmers will get the inputs they need; and (3) it helps to keep prices down by eliminating the need for intermediaries.
The e-voucher system is a welcome innovation, and we hope that it will help to improve agricultural productivity in the country.
How to apply for the E-Voucher system
So you want to apply for the E-Voucher system? Well, it’s not as complicated as you might think. In fact, it’s a process that’s designed to be as easy and convenient as possible for farmers.
Here’s how it works: first, you have to register on the FISP website. This is a quick and simple process that only takes a few minutes. Once you’re registered, you can apply for the E-Voucher system.
The next step is to choose the products you want to buy. There are a variety of products to choose from, so you’re sure to find something that meets your needs. After you’ve made your selections, you can proceed to the checkout stage and pay using your E-Voucher.
It’s really that easy! So don’t wait any longer – apply today and start enjoying the benefits of the E-Voucher system.
FAQs about the E-Voucher system
Have questions about the e-voucher system? You’re not alone! Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the programme:
Q1: What is an e-voucher?
An e-voucher is a digital voucher that can be used to buy goods and services from approved merchants.
Q2: How do I redeem my e-voucher?
To redeem your e-voucher, you’ll need to present it at the checkout counter of an approved merchant. The merchant will scan the barcode on your voucher and process the payment.
Q3: What can I use my e-voucher for?
Your e-voucher can be used to buy goods and services from approved merchants. This could include items such as food, clothing, medicine, and more.
Q4: How much can I spend with my e-voucher?
The value of your e-voucher will be based on the amount that was deposited into your account. You’ll be able to spend up to the total value of your voucher.
Q5: Can I use my e-voucher to make online purchases?
At this time, you cannot use your e-voucher to make online purchases. You must present your voucher at an approved merchant to make a purchase.
This discussion shows how the E-Voucher system is a great way for farmers to get the input support they need, hence the need to strengthen this system, through improvements of how to roll it out- just so that farmers can receive vouchers that can be used to buy inputs efficiently and effectively.
As it is, there is no doubt that this programme has helped many farmers improve their yields and incomes.