E-vouchers in Zimbabwe: Guidelines for agricultural input distribution
The Government of Zimbabwe, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation Development (MoAMID), issued national guidelines to govern the provision of support to smallholder farmers in the form of agricultural inputs and extension for the 2011/12 summer cropping season. These sought to minimize direct input distribution and eliminate the provision of free inputs to farmers. The guidelines proposed that inputs be provided using rural input/output markets and that farmers contribute 10 percent to the cost of the inputs they receive.
The 2011/12 season marks the second season in which voucher mechanisms are being used in Zimbabwe. During the 2010/11 cropping season, 550 000 households received agricultural assistance from the humanitarian community – of these, 339 000 households (62 percent) received inputs through voucher mechanisms.
The electronic vouchers are redeemable at competing rural agrodealer outlets identified to participate in the programme. This empowers farmers to choose the agricultural inputs they need for the cropping season from a selection offered under the programme.
The electronic voucher programme is being implemented through a partnership with MoAMID, various implementing partners, a technical provider and agrodealers. The programme is being implemented in three districts, covering 4 000 households. This paper provides the guidelines for the implementation of this electronic voucher programme in Zimbabwe.