Home » Business » ZIMBABAWE TOBACCO BOARD TO SHAME GROWERS WHO “NEST” THEIR BALES

HARARE, Feb 5 — Zimbabwe’s Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) says it will place details of farmers who commit “nesting” on notice boards at auction floors here, including their pictures as a way of shaming them and discouraging others from the practice.

Nesting tobacco means placing good quality tobacco on the top of the hogshead and bad quality at the bottom or deep inside to conceal trashor inferior tobacco from the buyers. Farmers normally do it to increase the weight of the bales.

The practice attracts a penalty of 20 US dollars per bale or imprisonment for one year or both.

Over the past few years, the TIMB has been complaining about the increase in cases of nesting with 488 farmers presenting some 1,400 such bales weighing 56,943 kilogrammes for sale last year.

TIMB chief executive officer Andrew Matibiri said here Wednesday that the board could not impose deterrent penalties since it did not administer the relevant Act. “We can only take the farmer to the police station where they are fined 20 dollars and released,” he said. “It is the courts which can impose the alternative penalty of imprisonment for one year.”

Dr Matibiri said as a deterrent, the TIMB made it difficult for farmers who had committed nesting to sell their crops in future through thorough searching of their bales. “After they are caught, we flag the grower and whenever they want to sell we do a thorough search of the their consignment,” he said.

He said Mashonaland Central Province topped the list of nesting cases last year with 201, up from 100 the previous year and accounted for 41.19 per cent of all the recorded cases with Pfura district in the province recording the highest number.

SOURCE: NEW ZIANA

Archives