Delay to open this year’s tobacco marketing season causes desperation among farmers in Eastern Province.

Desperation has gripped some tobacco farmers in Eastern Province due to delay by TBZ, Tobacco Board of Zambia to open the marketing season.
The farmers are also blank on what prices merchants will use to buy their crop.
This has resulted in briefcase buyers taking advantage of the situation to exploit some farmers, who are desperate for money.
And one of the tobacco farmers, Chishala Chilufya says that the delay to open the crop marketing will have a negative effect on the crop and result in farmers losing out.
Mr. Chilufya further complained that if the crop marketing period delays further, it will have serious impact on tobacco farming because farmers are supposed to start preparing for the 2013/2014 farming season next month.
He says that TBZ has not communicated to farmers on why the crop marketing, which was supposed to open early this month, has delayed to open.
And when contacted for comment, TBZ Board Secretary, Samson Muyembe said that the tobacco crop marketing will open soon.
Speaking in a telephone interview, Mr. Muyembe however, said that he could not shed more light on the matter because he was attending a meeting.

However, investigations carried out by Breeze News suggest that the crop marketing has delayed to open because TBZ has applied to government to allow the quoting of buying prices in United States dollars.
Government last year banned quoting in foreign currencies of all business transactions.

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