4 February 2013

Zambia: AG Report Reveals Fisp Irregularities

THE Auditor General's Report on the supply of agricultural inputs for the 2011/2012 farming season has revealed some irregularities in which 9,149 packs under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) worth KR2.6 million were supplied to unregistered farmers.

More than 230 farmer groups which were not registered with the cooperatives during the 2011 / 2012 farming season, received the inputs while, a total of 150 packs valued at K42 000 in Mkushi and Chibombo were issued to three cooperatives that did not exist.

The report reveals that there were weaknesses in the management of farming inputs such as late delivery of inputs, unacounted for inputs, issuance of inputs to unqualified cooperatives, unregistered farmers and fictitious cooperatives among others.

It also indicated that inputs costing KR796, 540,were issued to farmers countrywide, who were not registered with any cooperatives.

During the 2011 /2012 farming season, the ministry allocated 914,670 packs valued at KR1,022,870,400 to small holder farmers in all the provinces.

According to the guidelines on the management of FISP, small-scale farmers were to pay 25 per cent of the cost of the inputs, while the balance of 75 per cent was to be subsidised by the Government.

A review of records revealed weaknesses in accounting for revenue collected from the distribution of farming inputs in various districts which included failure to reconcile deposits made, poor record keeping, co-mingling of funds and failure to provide the latest bank statements among others.

The report revealed that although a total amount of KR255.72 million was expected to have been realised from the sale of inputs to small-scale farmers, only a total amount of K254.49 billion was realised, while inputs costing KR1.224 million were not distributed and were held in various warehouses.

Out of an amount of K254,49 billon that was realised, amounts totaling KR254.096 million were verified as having been remitted to control 99, leaving a balance of about K397,000 unacounted for as of December 2012.

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