Tobacco growers who sell their leaf through the auction market will now easily access information pertaining to the sale of their crop, thanks to the launch of AHL 252 SMS communication platform initiated by AHL Group, formerly Auction Holdings Limited.
The platform is expected to cut transport costs tobacco growers incurred to check the status of their leaf at the auction floors.
Speaking during the launch in Mchinji on Saturday, AHL Group general manager responsible for tobacco sales Graham Kunimba said the platform will offer convenience to tobacco growers as they will learn through text messages issues about tobacco sales on two mobile networks—TNM plc and Airtel Malaw—at a fee.
He said: “Growers have been struggling to travel long distances, for instance, from Chitipa to Mzuzu and all our auction floors to check things such as sale card that informs a farmer when tobacco is sold, seller sheet that informs the farmer if funds have been credited into their accounts and bale tracking if the tobacco has been bought or rejected.
“They will also be able to check stop order that informs the farmers when funds have been withheld for certain reasons and deductions, among others, that have been compelling farmers to travel long distances.”
One of the farmers, Francisco Weluza of Kalulu Village, Traditional Authority Kapondo, welcomed the initiative, saying he will now be saving money that he was spending to travel to Lilongwe Auction Floors to check the status of tobacco sales.
Apart from Lilongwe, AHL Group also runs Limbe, Mzuzu, Chinkhoma and Kabwafu floors. n