By ZBC Reporter
THE Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) Covid-19 regulations which demand decentralisation of tobacco auction floors for the current season have come as a blessing in disguise for Karoi farmers who say the move has cut unnecessary transport costs on their part.
Every year tobacco farmers make long trips to Harare to deliver their golden leaf but risk spending days at the auction floors as well as falling prey to marauding thieves in the capital.
With the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) insisting on localised sales to avoid the spread of the Covid-19 virus, farmers in Karoi have embraced the initiative saying the establishment of sales floors in their areas is a game-changer.
“We are happy that unlike all these years we were being made to travel to Harare incurring unnecessary transport costs,”
“Instead of spending several nights at the auction floors in Harare, we are now getting back some the very same day,”
“This initiative is good and we thank Government for that I don’t think I will ever go to Harare again but will sell the crop here in Karoi,” explained the farmers.
At the Boka Auction floors in Harare, A resident nurse is stationed to provide health services in strict adherence to Covid-19 regulations.
“My duty here is to make sure that I attend to anyone who feels unwell and to encourage farmers to observe social distancing,” she said.
Boka Auction floors Operations Manager Sonny Homu said the decentralisation of the selling of tobacco has many benefits even in the absence of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“ The selling of tobacco is happening under strict TIMB COVID 19 regulations which include restricting farmers from the floors but we are happy with the initiative as farmers are seeing that going to Harare is actually a waste of time so we really think it’s a good initiative going forward,” he said.
Only 15% of tobacco sales in 2019 were conducted outside Harare, but a huge increase is expected this year due to the decentralisation of tobacco sales.
Decentralisation of tobacco auction floors embraced by farmers
By ZBC Reporter