Tensions rose at the Tobacco Auction Floors as farmers started pulling out their golden leaf from the floors citing that cost of living and cost of growing tobacco compared to prices being offered for a kilogram were not at par Mail and Telegraph has learnt.
The publication visited Boka Auction floors after social media streams have been blitzing with a video of an old lady who was complaining over auctioning prices of tobacco
Farmers have been complaining since the opening of the Auction floors over low prices which were being offered for the golden leaf for as little as 4 dollars per kilogram.
Some had since pulled out of the floors, while others fell prey and sold their tobacco with low prices which could not compensate for their growing costs.
It has been farmers’ concern, inta alia, that the cost of living had not spared their industry and they expected Government, the Tobacco Marketing Board and buyers to consider that and increase the buying price.
The other complaint was on forex allocation and how the payments were being made into their accounts.
Some small scale farmers who could not bring forth more bells to the floors were not able to get foreign currency from the markets because they could not reach the ceiling for forex allocation while others were complaining that the process which involves hetting the forex from banks was a bit complicated.
According to The Herald, Tobacco farmers have sold 12 million kilograms of the golden leaf worth US$21,2 million.
The current volumes are 62 percent lower than the 32 million kilograms of flue-cured tobacco worth US$91 million that had been sold by farmers during the same period last year