TIMB plugs loopholes on tobacco contracting

By ZBC Reporter

Tobacco contractors, who failed to pay their debts and comply with the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) regulations, will be not be registered this season.

The tobacco summer cropping season has started on a different note, with TIMB introducing strict regulations which will see all contractors who failed to pay their outstanding debts facing the axe.

TIMB board chairperson, Patrick Devenish outlined stringent rules, which will disqualify all surrogates who fail to disburse recommended minimum inputs.

“We have set USD1000 worth of inputs as minimum which contractors should give to farmers and for commercial farmers a minimum for 4000$US should be disbursed. Those who breach the rules will be de-registered while surrogate contractors who fail to settle their debts will be disqualified,” he explained.

Tobacco Association of Zimbabwe President, George Seremwa described the TIMB intervention as the tonic.

“We welcome the development but we appeal if the board can increase the minimum inputs to 2000 $US dollars and 6000 US$ for A1 and A2 respectively so that we are assured of the best quality,” said Seremwa.

The tightening of tobacco contract regulations is expected to reduce the number of surrogate contractors, which had ballooned to over 40 resulting in chaos and rampant side marketing of the golden leaf.