In September 2009, IFDC received a grant from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to assist the Government of Mozambique in the implementation of a pilot fertilizer/seed voucher program. Voucher programs help smallholder farmers obtain agro-inputs while simultaneously building business for rural agro-dealers. Voucher programs are often called “smart subsidies” because they supply agro-inputs to farmers without disrupting the commercial market.
The Mozambique program initially targeted 25,000 maize and rice farmers on 12,500 hectares (ha) of land in Manica, Nampula, Sofala, Tete and Zambezia provinces. IFDC chose the agro-dealers involved and ensured that they had access to the amount of inputs required by participating farmers. In addition, targeted farmers were trained in the proper use of the inputs.
IFDC worked closely with FAO, the Mozambique Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), the National Directorate for Agricultural Extension, designated banks, suppliers, agro-dealers and farmers. With the successful completion of this pilot program, up-scaling of the program to reach a larger percentage of Mozambique’s total maize and rice farmers was expected.
Upon the request of FAO, IFDC implemented an additional voucher program in Mozambique from 2010 to 2011, funded by the European Union.
FAO Voucher Program Progress (July-December 2010)
IFDC project staff:
- Revised and simplified the vouchers and the corresponding promotional materials that were used in the previous cropping season.
- Identified and selected participating farmers (in partnership with local government).
- Selected agro-dealers who would become suppliers of the inputs.
- Selected the suppliers of fertilizer.
- Supervised negotiations between fertilizer suppliers and agro-dealers for mutually agreed fertilizer prices.
- Trained agro-dealers and government extension officers on program implementation.
- Monitored and evaluated the distribution and redemption of the vouchers.
FAO - Mozambique Voucher Program Information
An IFDC Core Competency: Fertilizer Voucher Programs (Taken from IFDC Report Volume 36, No.1)