Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Contracted tobacco farmers urged to avoid double dipping

by Simbarashe Sithole
11 Aug 2022 at 18:29hrs | Views
Senior Agronimist in Mashonaland Central province Lazarus Gatawa has urgerd contracted tobacco farmers  to only stick to one contract company if they are to sustain their farming business and realise full production potential. 

Double dipping is when a farmer collects farming inputs from multiple or more than one contracting company but for the same crop hectrage to be grown in a single farming season.

"Double dipping works against the objectivity of tobacco contract farming model and is toxic to the entire agriculture contracting value chain in Zimbabwe and to foreign investors," Gatawa said 

"Some merchants will fail to fully recover their debt and product volumes from double dippers because a contracted farmer can only sell their tobacco to one company contract floor according to TIMB policies."

Gatawa also added that  double dipping also fuels sidemarketing as those farmers will attempt to bypass and evade their obligations with the multiple contracting companies who  supported them with inputs.

"Double dipping will negatively affect the farmer by reducing their creditworthiness as they will not be able to access inputs credit from tobacco merchants in the coming seasons. Farmers with a history of double dipping  will be easily picked up by a mobile  application technology developed by Expert Decision Systems (XDS) through Agro Axess and tobacco companies will use this to deny inputs credit lines to such black listed farmers."

Tobacco farmers are currently entering into contract agreements with companies of their choice during this period of tobacco production cycle and are being encouraged to choose and stick to one company. 

Contract farming is a key driver of quality tobacco production in the country and farmers are being motivated to embrace the model by entering into contract agreements with only one merchant. A flourishing tobacco contract farming framework is good for the country and top on the beneficiary profile are the farmers and the contracting companies.

Source - Byo24News