THE Ministry of Agriculture has been advised to expedite the E-voucher system aimed at helping farmers to choose the kind of farming they want to do in the particular season.
Zambian Agriculture and Rural Development Initiative (ZARDI) executive director Gilbert Mpanga said though the E-voucher system was implemented by the Government recently, the system was too slow.
He said the system should be quickened to give ample time for farmers to decide what they wanted.
Mr Mpanga said the implementation of the system was the only key to drive the agriculture sector in Zambia because the current Farming Input Support Programme (FISP) only benefitted maize growers and not other crops. He said the E-voucher would address the challenge of late delivery of inputs as it allowed farmers to deal with the dealers directly.
“We are appealing to the Government to speed up the system to give ample time for farmers to choose what they want to grow,
“The system is beneficial because it is not limited to only one kind of a crop, but you choose any type of farming you want to do, and this goes well with diversification,” he said.
And ZARDI commended Government for directing foreign–owned supermarkets to be buying vegetables from local farmers instead of importing them from South Africa.
The local farmers were capable of feeding the nation should they receive massive support from relevant stakeholders.
Mr Mpanga said the local farmers should be empowered and motivated so that they increased their productivity.