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Tobacco farmers warned

by Simbarashe Sithole
27 May 2022 at 13:23hrs | Views
Zimbabwe's Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) said it was pushing for a legal instrument to deal with the side marketing of tobacco by farmers during the 2022 selling season.

According to state media the board is engaging relevant authorities to come up with a Statutory Instrument (SI) on side marketing.

Mashonaland Central provincial senior agronomist Lazarus Gatawa said side marketing will limit the contracting companies from registering more farmers in the next season.

"Side markerting will limit the contracting companies from registering more farmers in the following season. With the cost of farming inputs spiralling, the defaulting farmers will also find it difficult to self-finance in the succeeding season thereby affecting their productive efficiency," Gatawa said.

The agronomist urged farmers to deliver all their crop to the merchants who contracted them.

"This will ensure that tobacco contracting remains viable and sustainable to both the contracting and contracted parties. Side marketing also has far reaching negative impacts on the overall contract farming framework and its value chain," he said.

"Contracting companies rely on good debt and volume recoveries from contracted growers to sustain their business. Tobacco produced in Zimbabwe is among the highest in the world in terms of its quality and many families are dependent on the gold leaf for their livelihoods."

Gatawa also encouraged farmers to take advice from field officers to obtain better yields.

"Farmers are also being encouraged to embrace the agronomy advice that they receive from field officers of the company that contract them and avoid shortcuts in order to obtain higher return per dollar from their farming business."

Source - Byo24News