GOVERNMENT has been advised to address the evident gaps in the implementation of the Farmers Input Support Programme (FISP) so that all the farmers benefitted from the same programme, says Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) provincial coordinator Hope Mwelaisha.
Ms Mwelaisha said CSPR has embarked on community awareness programmes in Nchelenge and Milenge districts in collaboration with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate the alleged mismanagement of the FISP.
She alleged that the co-operatives in the province had been marred with a wide spread accusation of corruption among others, saying some officials were alleged to have been benefiting from the same programme at the expense of poor farmers.
Ms Mwelaisha said it was vital that Government took interest in monitoring such programmes regularly.
“It is worrisome that some officials since the inception of FISP have been beneficiaries of the programme and could not give chance to other eligible vulnerable and viable farmers.
This came to light when CSPR held a round table meeting with Nchelenge leadership at which it was revealed gaps in the implementation of the programme existed.
Ms Mwelaisha said her organisation wanted to see that the gap between the service providers and the beneficiaries was bridged.
“We are calling on Government to intensify the monitoring and evaluation of this programme because according to the findings, some members in various co-operatives are not graduating from the programme hence the need to sensitize co-operatives on how best they should allow other members to be empowered,” she said.
She said once the Government evaluated the programme to suit the prevailing environment and learn from the challenges the programme has encountered in the years it has been implemented, everything would be back to normal.