Assessing the Impacts of Zimbabwe’s Agricultural Vouchers Input Program

Using data from ICRISAT 2010/11 household and fertilizer retailer surveys, the study reveals that open vouchers enhance farmers input choice. The targeting of vulnerable farmers was efficient in selecting, households with less livestock ownership and those affected by HIV/AIDS. The use of open vouchers enabled retailers to sale agricultural inputs, boost revenue and link them to suppliers. The use of open voucher is preferable in areas where retailer’s infrastructure and mobile telephone network coverage is good. Timely payment of retailers and suppliers is necessary to encourage their willingness to participate in the program. Risk bearing options like wholesaler insurance are critical to ensure wholesalers are compensated in the event that agro-inputs are not purchased. Credit facilities specifically meant for retailers to stock and trade agricultural inputs will be useful. Programs and policies that enable farmers to access credit to buy inputs should also be put in place. A well planned voucher system links commercial retail channels and has multiplier effects to the society. Experiences from the PRP input program demonstrated that voucher system, as an alternative to direct input distribution, is workable in the Zimbabwe situation and can be adequately supported by suppliers and rural retailers. Voucher programs have the potential to support retail linkage and there is need for increasing more stakeholders, such as seed and fertilizer companies, and wholesalers.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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