Growers exploited

| May 8, 2018

Zimbabwe’s Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) has suspended the operations of flue-cured-tobacco buyers accused of giving growers a raw deal, according to a story in The Daily News.

This follows complaints by growers who say they are being short-changed by some of the buyers.

TIMB spokesperson Isheunesu Moyo has acknowledged receipt of the complaints from the growers. “We have since stopped some firms’ operations … while investigations are being carried out pertaining to the complaints,” Moyo said.

The affected growers claim that some buyers are making unexplained deductions from their payments while others are failing to pay them at all, despite the growers having delivered their tobacco.

Takura Mukomberanwa of Hurungwe West was said to have told the Daily News that growers were calling on the TIMB to look into a “litany of malpractices such as unauthorized insurance deductions”.

Mukomberanwa said that as things stood, it seemed that the TIMB did not care about what growers were going through.

What was happening was defeating the whole purpose of having taken up tobacco growing and suggesting that growers should quit tobacco.

“The amount they are taking from us is just too much and we end up left with virtually nothing, and it does not make economic sense anymore,” he said.

The Daily News said that the complaints about buyers had arisen at a time when the situation at the country’s flue-cured-tobacco auction floors was dire. Many growers were having to spend ‘successive nights at the floors before getting paid for their deliveries.

In addition, during the past few weeks, growers had been unable to withdraw the $300 per day promised by those responsible for such matters.

And this ‘withdrawals crisis’, the paper said, had seen illicit cash dealers relocating from the Central Business District to the auction floors where they targeted desperate growers.

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Category: Breaking News, Leaf, Markets, People, Sustainability

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