Warning: middlemen

| February 2, 2018

Zimbabwe’s Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) has warned farmers to sell their tobacco only through normal channels and in accordance with official trading practices, according to a story in The Herald.

Otherwise, the TIMB warns, farmers risk being cheated by unscrupulous middlemen, some of whom buy crops for low prices at the farm gate and later sell it at higher prices on the auction floors.

In most cases, the Herald reported, farmers sold their crops at low prices to avoid travelling to Harare, but in some instances middlemen misrepresented information to farmers to force them to sell their crop outside the official system.

Addressing farmers in Headlands, TIMB technical services manager Blessing Dhokotera said farmers should sell their crop through normal channels if they wanted fully to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

“Tobacco growers are entitled to a foreign currency incentive facility, which was recently increased from five to 12.5 percent,” Dhokotera said. “If you sell your crop through middlemen, they will get the incentive when you are the one who would have worked hard producing the crop.”

The Herald story said that some tobacco growers were in the habit of not registering with the TIMB in order to sell their crop without paying registration fees. Such farmers sold their crop using registered farmers’ numbers.

But Dhokotera said that in so doing, the farmers did not receive their incentive, since it was given to the registered grower.

At the same time, he attempted to discourage farmers from believing that they could influence prices on the floors by paying money to third parties, because, he added, it was good quality tobacco that would attract better prices.

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Category: Breaking News, Leaf, Markets, People

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