The Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) has introduced a gender quota, biased towards women.

Dora Siliya, agriculture minister told media that the move is in line with government’s plan for economic diversification.

“Government wants gender quality in its development agenda and will ensure that at least 45% of women access farm inputs in the next farming season,” she said.

This year, K2 billion is budgeted to support 1 million farmers under the new revamped programme FISP with a fully-fledged electronic voucher (e-voucher) payment system.

According to authorities, the new system will also support up to 10 crops to accelerate diversification.

Previously, FISP largely covered maize production. Now tomatoes, cassava, cashew nuts, soybean and groundnuts are among the broadened crop coverage under FISP.

Siliya said implementation of the new system will improve FISP’s administration – it was previously fraught with delays and maladministration.