By JAMES KUNDA –
THE Government has embarked on an exercise to identify and rapidly respond to the challenges experienced in distribution of farming inputs last season to ensure an improved and efficient system in the next one.
Agriculture Minister Michael Katambo said the Government would continue refining the e-voucher system whose implementation resulted in the creation of more than 3,000 agro-dealer jobs in the country.
“It is hoped that other stakeholders will continue to provide support to the agriculture sector that will help us implement policies that accurately respond to the needs of our people and enhance food security, production and productivity,” Mr Katambo said.
He said this in a speech read for him by Ministry of Agriculture, chief agricultural economist Anayawa Mutemwa during a Policy Monitoring and Research Centre (PMRC) launch of e-voucher results in Lusaka yesterday.
In the report dubbed ‘Review of the 2017/2018 e-voucher Implementation’ PMRC recommended that Government should ensure that all financial institutions fully integrate with the Zambia Integrated Agricultural Management Information System (ZIAMIS) to ensure data harmonisation.
The institutions also encouraged Government to ensure that participating financial institutions decentralised e-voucher related services to improve problem solving and response time.
“Further, PMRC urges the Government to enhance efforts to sensitise farmers on the implementation of the programme, as farmers exhibited limited knowledge on the current developments with regards to the programme,” the report said.
PMRC executive director Bernadette Deka urged the ministry to Agriculture to adopt the recommendations made by her organisation to ensure effective implementation of the E-voucher and growth of the sector.
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