By Chimwemwe Mangazi:
Tobacco market operator, AHL Group, has praised the newly established electronic payment system, saying it has reduced cases of delayed payment from tobacco growers.
AHL Group General Manager, Graham Kunimba, said the system has proven to be efficient as farmers receive proceeds, about two hours after selling their crop.
“We have a fully-fledged robust IT system that is able to extract information within minutes. In fact, the system is able to pay a grower within two hours after completion of a sale but, because we are working with a number of stakeholders, there are discussions to see if we all can embrace this system,” Kunimba said.
Jack Mtunde, a tobacco grower from Mitembo Village in Dowa, said the system is efficient as they get information via the mobile phone.
“It is true. Soon after the sale, I got a message with all the details from how many bales I have sold and how much money I am to receive and, within three days, I went to the bank and found money in my account. This is better unlike in the past when we used to come here regularly to check where the money is,” Mtunde said.
Latest figures from AHL Group indicate that, as of last Wednesday, the country had realised a total of $335.1 million from 199.5 million kilogrammes of tobacco.