Multi-donor Trust Fund (MDTF) has engaged auditors to analyse the missing beneficiary list for the 2014/15 Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp).
According to the 22nd Fisp Logistics Report dated February 9 2016, the donors have called for the audit since government is yet to provide them with the list.
Reads in part the report: “As previously reported, auditors commissioned by MDTF requested information concerning the missing beneficiary registers.
“Clearly, the ministry [of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development] requires to take action to avoid yet another critical audit report.”
In an interview two weeks ago, Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Allan Chiyembekeza could neither deny nor confirm the audit and the concerns.
But the minister described the process as normal, saying the donors will be provided with the information they were requesting.
Said Chiyembekeza: “This is a normal process and I don’t see anything wrong with donors asking for the list or commissioning auditors. We [government] will provide them with the list.”
But weeks later, in thedated February 23 2016 and seen by The Nation, government was yet to provide the donors with the list. 23rd Fisp Logistics Report
Under the title Failure to Return Signed 2014/15 Beneficiary Registers, the report said: “Critical audit reports on this can be expected as it highlights the ministry’s inability to account for voucher distribution in the affected districts.”
Meanwhile, some private sector players have withdrawn from delivering Fisp supplies to some districts due to bad terrain worsened by rains.
Nikolas Bosscher, chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture and Food Security at MDTF, commenting on the performance of the private sector on Fisp, said in an e-mailed response the committee will need to evaluate the whole 2015/16 Fisp.
He said: “We have had several discussions and we have finally decided not to comment. At this stage, we have to avoid singling-out certain events and drawing premature conclusions without taking the wider context into consideration.
“Therefore, we believe the entire 2015/16 Fisp should be evaluated before conclusions can be drawn.”
MDTF is a joint funding arrangement managed by the World Bank and implemented by Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development.
Donors that put funds in the scheme include European Union (EU), Norway, Ireland, Flanders International, United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID), United States Agency for International Development and the World Bank.
This season’s Fisp, according to the latest logistics report, is currently at 98 percent. This means that about 70 000 smallholder farmers are yet to receive farm inputs.
Previous logistics reports indicated that this year’s Fisp has been marred by various problems ranging from late access to coupons and delayed delivery of fertliser distribution.