2021-22 tobacco farming season gets underway

By Business Reporter
IMPLEMENTATION of the Tobacco Industry Value Chain Transformation Strategy has seen tobacco regulators setting financing benchmarks in a move set to restore sanity in the golden leaf industry.
Interventions by government to weed out certain malpractices in the production and marketing of tobacco have seen a marked reduction in surrogate contractors who take advantage on indefensible tobacco farmers and create chaos in the industry.
Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) spokesperson Chelesani Moyo says they have come up with mechanisms to regulate contractors and ensure sanity prevails in the tobacco industry.
“To improve the integrity of the tobacco industry, a MOU in contract farming has been set. For small scale farmers a minimum of us$ 1000 per hectare has been set while for commercial scale farmers this amount stands at us$ 4000 per hectare. TIMB has put in place mechanisms to ensure that there is total compliance to these regulations,” he said.
These benchmarks are meant to ensure farmers are given adequate inputs, unlike in the past where surrogate contractors were buying tobacco which they either underfunded or did not finance at all.
Information gathered by ZBC News also reveals that a default rate to be charged on tobacco farmers who do not repay their loans has also triggered a high dropout rate by other contractors.
The contractors were incurring huge losses largely as a result of farmers who side market their crop through surrogates.

The post 2021-22 tobacco farming season gets underway appeared first on ZBC NEWS.

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