FAO : FAO launches the first electronic voucher scheme in Mozambique



At the beginning of the agricultural season 2015/2016, FAO launched in Mozambique an electronic voucher scheme aimed at enabling market access to agricultural inputs (mainly seeds and fertilizers) and improving the distribution of quality agricultural inputs through the involvement of various agro-dealers. The programme targets two groups of beneficiaries: small emerging farmers and subsistence farmers, with special attention given to rural women and women heads of families.

The voucher serves as a financial credit for the purchase of inputs, e.g. seeds and fertilizers, from quality-monitored agro-dealers and is co-financed by the beneficiary. Facilitation of farmers’ access to improved agricultural inputs can increase production, know-how, food security, revenue, as well as the development of marketing and distribution sectors.

The financial inclusion tool was successfully tested in the Province of Manica during the agricultural campaign of 2015/2016 and will be extended to the Provinces of Sofala, Zambezia and Nampula in the agricultural campaign of 2016/2017. It will gradually replace the paper voucher scheme run since 2013.



Increasing crop yields and capital gains
Due to limited agro-industrial development capacities, smallholder and emerging family farmers are in need of secure market prospects and risk-covering facilities, and are currently lacking sufficient capital to invest in and expand their farms.



Eduardo Lino, a local farmer attending the launch of the electronic voucher in Sussundenga, Manica Province in November 2015, is excited about the new scheme. Already a beneficiary of the paper voucher, he understands the structure in which the beneficiary pays part of the total worth of the voucher, while FAO puts forward the rest. Once the voucher has been activated, the beneficiary has access to a wide range of inputs from any of the agro-dealers involved in the scheme.



FAO carefully monitors the quality of the seeds available for purchase within this scheme, which Lino remarks was a significant advantage for him. “I had a much better crop yield after using inputs bought with the paper voucher last year”, he comments, and is hopeful that “the increase in input choices with the electronic voucher will again improve my production this season”.


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