In order to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP), AICC has entered a partnership with Mobile Transactions International (MTI), a leading provider of electronic voucher solutions, to explore the usage of electronic vouchers in the FISP.
Government of Malawi through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has implemented the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) since the 2005/06 growing season with financial assistance from international donors. As a result of this programme, the country has witnessed increased and surplus maize production, although this growth has come at a high cost: expenditure on the FISP in 2010/11 was approximately US$120m. The FISP involves distribution of selected subsidized agriculture inputs (fertilizer and seed) to poor smallholder farmers. In 2012/13, approximately 1.5 million farmers benefitted from the programme which is about 45-50% of the total number of smallholder farmers in Malawi.
The goals of the pilot project were:
- To assess the impact of the e-voucher system relative to the paper coupon system;
- To demonstrate the feasibility of using the e-voucher system in the FISP in Malawi;
- To learn lessons for and to assess the feasibility of scaling up the e-voucher system for a nationwide rollout.