Zambian farmers switch to electronic payments
- Published on 17 July 2012
Zambia’s Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has developed an electronic payment system to compensate farmers countrywide for maize and rice supplied to the agency this season.
The system uses direct bank electronic payments, and allows farmers to receive their money through personal bank accounts.
The direct bank electronic payments is expected to lessen the time of payments to farmers who previously formed long queues to receive their money at various pay points around the country.
FRA public relations officer, Mwamba Siame, said the agency had embarked on a countrywide sensitisation programme to create awareness among farmers on the need for them to have personal bank accounts.
“Eligible banks are being encouraged to carry out their marketing sensitisation well to ensure that all farmers are carried on board,” Siame said.
Siame said the banks connected to the payment system and participating in the countrywide farmer sensitisation programme are Zambia National Commercial Bank, Access, Standard Chartered, Investrust, NATSAVE, Finance, Barclays Bank, BancABC, Indo-Zambia and Stanbic.
He added that the old payment system resulted in high transaction costs for both FRA and the banks in handling physical cash.
He also said FRA would not deal with farmers who do not provide bank account details before supplying maize and rice to the agency.
“The agency will this year target genuine small-scale farmers who will be subjected to rigorous scrutiny and registration in operational depots according to guidelines that will soon be provided,” Siame said.