The Botswana Meat Commission’s (BMC) failure to pay farmers on time could finally be consigned to history thanks to their new partnership with BancABC.
In the past, the BMC’s Francistown abattoir has been particularly culpable of delaying on payments – to the extent that they currently owe over 1, 000 farmers, with unpaid debts of P8 million dating back to June.
It is against this backdrop that BMC have teamed up with BancABC to revolutionise the way farmers who supply cattle to the Francistown branch are paid.
Previously, the Commission had used cheques to pay their farmers but have now introduced the BancABC Prepaid Card, exclusively for their long-suffering Francistown suppliers.
Speaking on Friday at a roadshow held to inform the region’s farmers about the change, BMC’s Executive Manager of Livestock Procurement, Kenneth Makubate, admitted that the Commission had let them down.
“We have been failing to pay on time and we ask for your forgiveness on this one. We have been promising to pay in 14 days but always failed – but with BancABC, 14 days will become a reality!
“As I am speaking to you we have already issued 400 cards and have paid many people already,” said Makubate, who urged the listening farmers to consider opening bank accounts for their herdboys as well.
Pleading with the gathered farmers to register for a prepaid card immediately, Makubate closed with this simple message – “It will change your lives for the better!”
Reiterating Makubate’s ‘two week’ promise, Francistown abattoir’s plant manager, Bosiela Saudu, said, “From now onwards if they bring their cows in 14 days they get their money.
“The delay was because we were paying them after slaughtering their cows. Paying farmers well in time will enhance their morale to bring more fresh cows to the abattoirs as they will be sure of fast money,” said Saudu, adding that the Francistown abattoir had a monthly slaughter target of 4, 000 cows – 200 a day – and paid it’s suppliers P23 a kilo.
Pointing out the new system’s benefits, BancABC’s Head of Corporate Banking, Bernard Mzizi, said, “There will be no charge for swiping and no monthly fees.
You are only charged when you get your money from the bank.
“It has cellphone banking where you can buy electricity and transfer money – thus it helps in speeding up payments.
It has been designed to be affordable,” closed Mzizi.