Thursday, January 05, 2017

Zimbabwe Tobacco Farmers Get Export Incentives
January 6, 2017
Elita Chikwati Senior Agriculture Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

Tobacco growers who sold their crop during the 2015-16 selling season have started receiving their five percent export incentive in bond notes from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

Farmers are set to get a collective $29 million from RBZ in bond notes, which have the same value as the US dollar.

The central bank came up with the incentive for tobacco growers to promote production of the export crop and reward farmers for generating foreign currency.

The five percent export incentive is being deposited into the growers’ accounts and most farmers said they would use the money to support the current crop.

Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board chairperson Mrs Monica Chinamasa, yesterday confirmed that tobacco growers had started receiving their money.

“Farmers started receiving their export incentive just before Christmas,” she said. “We are happy about the arrangement and grateful to the RBZ for the incentive.”

Mrs Chinamasa said farmers who have not yet received the incentive should approach TIMB offices for assistance.

“Normally, this has to do with the issue of details of the farmer,” she said. “There may be some challenges in verifying details of the farmer. The grower’s number, bank account number and sales should be clear.

“Affected farmers should come to our offices to establish why their money could not be processed.”

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president Mr Wonder Chabikwa yesterday applauded the RBZ for the incentive, which he said would motivate farmers to grow more tobacco.

He said farmers would use the money to maintain the current crop, increase yields and come up with a high quality crop that would fetch a high price on the market.

“Some tobacco farmers will use the money to buy fertilisers and chemicals,” said Mr Chabikwa.

“In some areas, farmers are faced with the problem of false ripening due to heavy rains. They need calcium nitrate to control this and they can use their incentive.”

A total of 73 343 growers delivered about 202 million kilogrammes of gold leaf to the country’s auction floors during the 2015-16 season earning the country nearly $600 million.

Cotton farmers have also appealed to Government for an export incentive.

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