TIMB Bans Voedsel From Contracting Tobacco Farmers | Report
The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) has reportedly banned Voedsel from contracting farmers this year after it failed to pay farmers for the past two years.
According to a report by The Herald, Voedsel, which has buying facilities in various tobacco-growing regions including Rusape, Marondera and Karoi, was declared an “unsuitable player” by the TIMB.
Voedsel was among the major financiers of tobacco under contract schemes.
A TIMB official who declined to be named as a result of not being authorised to talk to the press told The Herald:
Voedsel won’t be participating this year because they owe huge amounts of money to tobacco growers.
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In fact, the deadline for contracting farmers was October 31, (2022) and November 31, is the deadline for disbursing the inputs.
Meanwhile, Tennyson Hwandi, a director at Vodsale blamed “white-owned companies” for working against indigenous tobacco merchants. He said:
Big tobacco companies are being threatened by black-owned tobacco companies, and Voedsel being one of the major players, has been a target.
They are determined to see us closing down. We are already giving our farmers inputs.
Another TIMB official was quoted as saying, “if it is true that they are issuing the inputs, it is very illegal because we have not licensed them.”