THE Grain Marketing Board (GMB) has introduced an electronic card for farmers to facilitate quick payments as part of the ease of doing business drive.
In the past farmers have been crying foul over the failure by GMB to pay them on time for produce delivered thereby affecting preparations for the next farming season.
In an interview at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) yesterday, GMB chief executive officer Mr Rocky Mutena said the card was launched at the beginning of this month, with farmers expected to receive their payments soon after delivering grain to the GMB.
"This is about paying farmers on time. In the past, before the introduction of the farmer's card, we were recording farmers banking details then we deposit money through our bank, CBZ before it's moved to the farmer's account. This process was taking a long time.
"This farmer's card will be linked directly to the farmer's bank. When the farmer delivers grain to the GMB, we load the money into the farmer's wallet.
"The farmer can transfer money from the card into their bank account if they wish to or they choose to leave it in the card," said Mr Mutena.
The farmer's card eliminates the hassle of following up on payments from GMB. Mr Mutena added that the card was linked to Zimswitch, which means whenever the farmer wanted cash, they can use the card and get money immediately.
The card can also be used to pay for inputs, bills, school fees like any other bank card.
"So I want to encourage farmers to register their names at the nearest GMB depots to have access to their cards," said Mr Mutena. He said the card will also help farmers buy inputs at discounted prices.