Govt urges speedy payment of sales proceeds

Govt urges speedy payment of sales proceeds

Ministry of Agriculture and Tobacco Commission (TC) have called for speedy payment of sales proceeds to farmers, saying they will not tolerate any delays in the disbursements.

Speaking during the opening of Mzuzu Floors on Wednesday, Ministry of Agriculture Principal Secretary (Irrigation) Engineer Geoffrey Mamba said it was disheartening that farmers were being made to wait for payments for a long time.

Chakwera and First Lady Monica inspects tobacco at Chinkhoma Auction Floors in Kasungu

He said: “I am happy that the Tobacco Commission invited AHL Group and banks because the problem was cutting across the whole transaction.

“The matter is now water under the bridge and they have promised that this will not happen again.”

AHL Group board chairperson Dan Makata said several factors led to the delays, but now the issues have been resolved.

“There was payment delay of daily tobacco purchase invoices by some tobacco farmers, which consequently affected AHL’s capacity to pay tobacco growers and transporters,” he said.

TC board chairperson Godfrey Chapola said they regret that some  farmers had to wait for days to get their money.

During the first day of sales at Mzuzu Floors, the highest price was $3.15 (K5 515) per kilogramme (kg) on contract while the auction, the  leaf fetched $2.99 (K5 235) per kg. 

As of May 3, tobacco revenue hit $53.7 million out of 20.1 million kg sold.

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