Agri-business

Farmers’ payments go electronic

TRYNESS MBALE, Lusaka
ABOUT 15,000 farmers are expected to benefit from the electronic payment programme by NWK Agri-Services, which is aimed at addressing the issue of delayed payments of agricultural supplies this year.
The programme is in partnership with Musika and will enable farmers to use prepaid Visa cards. It will facilitate for farmers to get paid quicker for their commodity deliveries to the firm.
NWK Agri-Services chief executive officer Pierre Lombard said the electronic payment system will minimise risks associated with the holding of huge sums of money through the automated service.
“The payment platform will reduce the risk of cash handling to farmers, time delays in farmer payments and cash handling fees to the company.
“We plan to reach out to over 15,000 farmers countrywide under the electronic payment programme. We partnered with various financial service providers with the intention to move all our contracted farmers onto an electronic payment platform,” Mr Lombard said in an interview recently.
He said the programme will be implemented countrywide to enable more farmers benefit in terms of agricultural products delivered to the firm.
Under the programme, the company will communicate with farmers using mobile phones, which will be bought for them to communication between the company and the farmers.
Last year, NWK Agri-Services launched the electronic payment programme in partnership with various financial service providers with the intention to move all the company’s contracted farmers onto the platform.
On the outlook, Mr Lombard said the company intends to work with more farmers in assisting them increase their productivity and increase their income at household levels.

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