The Ministry of Agriculture working closely with Smart Zambia has unearthed 1,600 duplicates of beneficiaries under the Farmer Input Support Programme.

Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary Green MBOZI told the National Agricultural Information Services in Choma that this implies that the same beneficiaries were collecting inputs twice under FISP.

Mr. MBOZI says his Ministry is working closely with other institutions in targeting beneficiaries by using biometric registration to assist in weeding out people who are not supposed to benefit under the programme.


The Permanent Secretary noted that the ministry will work with other government institutions to chart a way forward as to whether the 1,600 duplicates of beneficiaries under FISP should be removed from the programme or institute punitive measures.


Mr. Mbozi started that before October farmers will start collecting fertilizer as selection of beneficiaries has commenced for the 2023/2024 farming season.


He clarified that it is during the selection process that a water tight mechanism will be put in place to avoid duplicates or farmers benefiting twice within one season.


And Southern Province Agricultural Coordinator Dr. Max CHOOMBE says the Province has 183,385 beneficiaries under the FISP during 2023/2024 farming season.

Dr. CHOOMBE said so far sensitization meetings in the province have since been completed targeting key stakeholders.

He said the Ministry is currently sensitizing beneficiaries certain modalities relating to FISP adding that all stakeholders have been trained about the programme so that they speak the same language as distribution of inputs commences.


‘’Most of the time we find ourselves arguing with people because they don’t have much information about the programme. This time around we are calling all stakeholders before starting distribution of inputs so that if they need clarification they are informed accordingly through the DACO’s office or PACO’s,’’ said Dr. CHOOMBE.


Dr. CHOOMBE asserted that it is very easy to be misunderstood if people and other stakeholders do not have enough information about the FISP.


He disclosed that Southern Province will soon commence distribution of inputs as the Province has received 100 percent of the allocated inputs of D-Compound fertilizer.


Dr. CHOOMBE said Seed is not a problem and assured farmers that this year distribution of inputs will go smoothly.