Don’t Dare Use E-voucher System In Parish Dev’t Model If You Want It To Succeed-Gov’t Warned

Don’t Dare Use E-voucher System In Parish Dev’t Model If You Want It To Succeed-Gov’t Warned

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By Spy Uganda

Government is urged to borrow lessons from the e-voucher system employed by the World Bank funded Agricultural Cluster Development Project (ACDP) if the the electronic supported programmes in the Parish Development Model (PDM) are to succeed.

Members of Parliament cognizant of the persistent failures in the e-voucher system for the past five years of the ACDP project, said the PDM is bound to fail if government does not expeditiously address the factors facilitating the failures in the network.

“Since the parish development model is scrapping money from other sectors, we are looking at a situation where the system is down, the planting season has arrived, and the whole community cannot get inputs, which means people either have to plant late or the whole community must be supported by the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness” said Hon. Robert Migadde (NRM, Buvuma Island).

The Bugabula South MP, Hon. Henry Maurice Kibalya citing his experience with farmers and district leaders said that government must either first pilot its electronic system or do away with it, lest the PDM fails from inception.

“The e–voucher system cannot work in the parish development model because we have always had system failure. People paid for inputs last year; the maize season and other seasonal crops are about to end, but they have not received their inputs” said Kibalya.

He proposed that government should consider equipping the local leaders with expertise to run the system as opposed to being run centrally as it is with the ACDP.

In the ACDP, farmers make payments for subsidised agricultural inputs through an online system.

However from the weeklong oversight visit by the Committee on National Economy in western Uganda, it has been observed that in most districts, the system has had constant break downs. As a result, farmers spend almost a year without receiving their inputs.

The Mubende District Chairperson, Muhereza Michael Ntambi while interacting with the committee on Wednesday, 15 March 2022, was in agreement with the MPs’ position saying that even the cost of purchasing items through the e-system proved more costly when compared to prices on the open market.

“When people are going to receive their inputs, they don’t know the price; you find someone has been given a sack of fertilizers at shs200,000 when on the open market the price is like She100,000. The PDM should allow people to go on the open market and buy things on their own,” Muhereza said.

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