Agro dealers have expressed shock at government announcement that it would revert to the Farmer Input Support Program (FISP).
The agro dealers said the e-voucher system removed monopoly from a few fertiliser companies and spread the benefits to agro dealers country wide.
Agro Dealers representative, Mathew Phiri condemned government for reverting to the FISP manual program.
He said that that the Ministry of Agriculture had been telling Zambians that the e-voucher system was successful but wondered why the Ministry was abandoning it.
Government has announced that it will revert 40 percent of districts and put them on FISP manual system instead of e-Vouchers due to what government says were several challenges faced.
“Reverting back to Conventional FISP is primarily meant to line the pockets of Edgar Lungu’s Stooges. What it means for the Zambian people is that only people connected to Sate house will continue to supply Farmers Inputs under the tax-payers sponsored program (FISP) at exorbitant prices without competition.” Said Phiri.
He accused selfish people around President Edgar Lungu as being behind the move to reinstate FISP manual system.
“The Lungu cartel was not happy with the competition which allowed ordinary hard-working Zambian to participate and create genuine employment whilst making a means of living for themselves in a society”
“Making ends meet in Zambia is difficult but the e-voucher system empowered agro dealers countrywide”
“It’s greedy at play without any consideration of the impact of their actions”.
IMF advised Zambia to abandon the conventional FISP as it was very costly for government and benefited only a few companies.
Information available show that farmers were made to buy fertiliser at 3 times the price available at ordinary markets.
Under the FISP, Farmers can only get 3 Bags and a 5 Kg seed compared to possible 7 Bags and a 10 Kg bag of seeds under the e-voucher system.
Under conventional FISP Government foots huge transportation cost for the inputs and unacceptable huge storage fees for inputs.
The transportation and Storage services are provided friends of the state.
But a recent study showed that through e-Voucher system thousands of Jobs were created for ordinary Zambians.
President Edgar Lungu recently in Muchinga and at the Chisamba Expo, said the e-Voucher system.had saved government huge resources and had come to stay but the recent announcement was contrary to this public commitment.