Bindura (New Ziana) – Unlike elsewhere in the country, tobacco farmers in Bindura are being paid United States dollars cash at the local auction floor, a move that has brought relief to the growers and incentivised them to produce more in the upcoming farming season.
Elsewhere, tobacco farmers are grumbling because the foreign currency component of their earnings is deposited into their bank accounts from which they face difficulties to withdraw.
But Bindura Tobacco Auction Floor, which opened this year, is paying farmers US dollars cash on conclusion of the sale of the crop.
In addition, it is also providing farmers free transport to and from their homes, another major relief for the growers as most faced delivery cost challenges.
Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs Minister Monica Mavhunga applauded the company for quickly paying farmers, and in cash, and assisting them transport their crop.
She said farmers in the past lost a lot of money taking their crop to Harare, until now the only place tobacco auction floors existed.
“This definitely stands as a milestone for us towards the nation’s economic improvement and the retail chain business. It
harmonizes well with the call by President Emmerson Mnangagwa for provinces to grow their economies, leveraging on their peculiar natural resources,” she said.
In the upcoming farming season, the company plans to also offer input and other assistance to farmers in the province to grow tobacco.
Tobacco is the second most grown crop in Mashonaland Central after maize. It is widely grown in Bindura, Shamva, Mt Darwin, Guruve and Muzarabani.
Bindura Tobacco Auction Floor is targeting to buy at least six million kilograms this season.