Zimbabwe tobacco farmers are demanding full payment in US dollars for their crop ahead of the start of the 2022 tobacco marketing season.
Last season, the farmers were paid 75% in foreign currency and the remainder in Zimbabwe dollars.
However, according to the Zimbabwe Integrated Commercial Farmers Union (ZICFU) there new demands would encourage the participation of small-scale tobacco growers and boost production.
“We urge the government to consider that we also get funding at the Bank rate and operate in the same environment as other sectors, facing similar operating costs,” ZICFU president Maiwepi Jiti said.
“We are, therefore asking the government to increase tobacco farmers’ foreign currency retention threshold to 100% from the current 75% like what is happening in the horticulture and gold sectors,” she said.
She said the ZICFU was an organisation with a membership of 15 000 farmers, and it was committed to ensure that its members are accorded space for economic growth, and earn foreign currency, protect farmers’ rights.
“ZICFU comes in as an all-encompassing organisation giving all farmers a platform to expand within and beyond Zimbabwe borders,” Jiti said.