By Faith Kamtambe:
Farmers in the country can now access Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) coupons following the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development’s decision to lift the suspension of the exercise.
The ministry suspended the distribution of the 2018/19 Fisp coupons last week.
The ministry’s principal secretary, Grey Nyandule Phiri, last week said the action had been taken to consolidate distribution processes in all the districts as, according to the ministry, there were anomalies that were reported including allegations that some people wanted to tamper with the process.
The ministry has now released a press statement dated November 12 2018 which indicates that the ban has been lifted.
The statement, signed by Nyandule Phiri indicates that the validation phase had been deemed successful by all stakeholders.
“The ministry has lifted the suspension of the 2018/19 Fisp coupon distribution as well as redemption of farm inputs using coupons with effect from Monday, November 12 2018. This has been done following initial reconciliation of allocations by a majority of district councils,” reads part of the press release.
The 2018/19 Fisp Programme has targeted 1 million beneficiaries compared to 900,000 during the 2017/18 farming season.
Meanwhile, the Civil Society Agriculture Network (Cisanet) has appealed to the government to ensure that the distribution of coupons is not interrupted again as the farming season approaches.
According to Cisanet National Director, Pamela Kuwali, suspension of the exercise meant draining of government resources that were pumped in for the same.
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