ZNFU sets up own company
Lusaka, August 16th , 2014, ZANIS—The Zambia national farmers union (ZNFU) has established a company meant to improve access and delivery of Agri-finance and marketing to small scale farmers.
The company called ZNFU Lima Services (ZLS) has been designed to specially reduce smallholder Agri-finance and credit supply risks as well as offer timely and cost effective input and market access.
ZLS will also facilitate other innovative private sector inputs financing schemes, and will also facilitate real-time, cost effective and safer payment solutions while at the same time promote innovative liquidity enhancement instruments.
ZANIS reports that according to information on the ZNFU website, the move to form the company was revealed during the Agribusiness Chamber meeting at the ZNFU head offices in Lusaka last weekend.
It was also revealed during the same meeting that the Lima Credit Scheme (LCS) procurement system will change from centralized tender system to using a prepaid ZNFU Visa card in order to improve payments to suppliers.
The move will also devolve purchasing for discounts to District Farmers Associations (DFAs) and individual farmers, and will give LCS farmers more freedom of choice of inputs and to give ZLS more negotiating power for discounts and fairly priced inputs.
The changes are meant to improve further timeliness of LCS inputs distribution and to help create face-to-face business relationships between LCS, DFA, farmers & Agribusiness.
The ZNFU Visa card will be piloted in selected districts during the 2014/2015 farming season:
The pilot districts are Kazungula, Livingstone, Choma, Kalomo, Monze, and Mazabuka in Southern Province.
Others are Chongwe, and Kafue in Lusaka Province, Chibombo, Mumbwa, Kabwe, Kapiri, Mkushi and Serenje in Central Province.
The rest are Lundazi, Chipata, Katete, and Petauke in Eastern Province. Mpongwe, Luanshya, and Ndola in Copperbelt, and Mbala in Northern Province.