NWK Agri-Services says around 20,000 farmers will benefit from its electronic payment system this year.
Last October, NWK Agri-Services implemented an electronic-payment system in partnership with various financial service providers, which uses mobile money to pay farmers and eases communication with them.
The payment system also reduces the risk of farmers handling cash and delays in paying them. NWK Agri-Services corporate relations and marketing manager, Lauren Watson, stated that 20,000 farmers would this year benefit from the payment system, with the number expected to increase year-on-year.
“We expect to grow this number by 30 per cent per year and hope to have all our farmers on the platform by 2018. Each farmer will receive a phone from NWK and be signed up to MTN mobile money,” Watson stated in response to a press query.
She stated that since the company’s mechanisation scheme was rolled out in selected parts of the country last year, farmers had benefited through equipment in improving land mass and volumes.
“Mechanised farmers are also able to provide land preparation services to other small-scale farmers, effectively increasing the number of farmers benefitting from our programme. NWK plans to roll out 200 mechanisation packages each year. This, however, depends highly on the repayments of loans from beneficiaries the previous year,” stated Watson.
NWK provides an all-round service to farmers with its agricultural division supplying back-up support in training or advice; the retail division providing easy access to spares and inputs, together with their commodities division that provides a guaranteed market for the farmer’s produce.