Friday, March 15, 2013

(HERALD ZW) TIMB brings sanity to auction floors

TIMB brings sanity to auction floors
Friday, 15 March 2013 00:00
Agriculture Reporter

The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board has brought sanity and improved services for farmers at the auction floors, tobacco growers have confirmed.This has not been the case in the past seasons where the first days of auctioning were marked with congestion and farmers complaining of poor accommodation and payment system.

Most tobacco farmers said they were grateful to the TIMB as they were getting better treatment at the auction floors.
There are three auction floors, Tobacco Sales Floor, Boka Tobacco Floors and Premier Tobacco Floors who were licenced by the TIMB to participate this season after meeting requirements which included having adequate accommodation and ablution facilities, banks with cash, decent canteens and safe water, among other things.

Karoi farmer, Mr Joel Marange said he was impressed with the decent accommodation and could bath at the auction floors, a facility that was not available during the past years.
Mt Darwin farmer, Mrs Lena Makwanya said getting her money soon after selling made life easier as she does not have to spend days camped at the floors as was the situation in the past few years.

“Now I do not have to spend days waiting to get my money because the process is now shorter and I can go back to the farm after selling my crop the same day,” she said.
TIMB chairperson Mrs Monica Chinamasa urged farmers to register and submit their crop estimates before delivering their crop for sale.
“The cardinal rule of booking first then deliver today and sell tomorrow, is meant for planning purposes and ensuring order at the floors,” she said.

A number of growers have however, continued to bring their crop without having made prior booking arrangements.

TSF managing director, Mr James Mutambanesango said although the farmers were not sent back they first have to register before selling their crop and this might result in delays.

He said some of the farmers were new and not aware of the procedures they had to follow when selling tobacco.

Meanwhile, tobacco deliveries have increased from an average of 70 000 kilogrammes during the first days to above 200 000 kilogrammes per day.

There has been a slight decline in prices this season compared to last season. Farmers have also complained that the highest price at the auction floors has remained at US$4, 99 since last season while the contract sales are registering prices as high as US$5,70 per kilogramme.

At the opening of the 2013 selling season in February, TIMB noted that last season there was an uncomfortable difference between auction floor and contract prices for similar grades which should be corrected this season.

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