Thursday, April 18, 2019

Dubious tobacco marketing associations flood auction floors

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Businessman Muchadeyi Masunda said the problems faced by tobacco farmers were being caused by the intrusion into the marketing of the golden leaf by middlemen, commonly known as makoronyera.

The former Harare Mayor also blamed dubious tobacco marketing associations led by people with no business in the industry for the chaos current obtaining at the auction floors.

His comments come after complaints by tobacco farmers over the pricing system amid chaos at the auction floors.

“Most of the perennial problems which tobacco farmers have been experiencing post 2014 stem largely from the unmitigated chaos in the way the crop is being marketed,” Masunda said.

“There has been a proliferation of tobacco marketing associations which are headed by people who have no business to be in the tobacco industry at all.”

Masunda said there was need to stop the middlemen from further exploiting the farmers.

“In a nutshell, the tobacco industry has been infiltrated by an unsustainably large number of middlemen (makoronyera) who seem to be driven more by greed than the long term interests of the tobacco growers, especially the small scale growers,” he said.

Small scale tobacco farmers have been complaining bitterly over the chaos at the auction floors with Members of Parliament on Tuesday promising to engage government to address their problems.