Independent tobacco growers stuck with produce due to lack of market

With market for their tobacco uncertain, some independent tobacco growers in Eastern Province are now trying their luck in Lusaka.
Most farmers are reportedly ignoring calls not to take their tobacco outside the province.
Eastern Fodya Association of Zambia, EFAZ chairperson, Franklin Mwale, has confirmed that out of desperation, some farmers have resorted to taking their crop to floors in Lusaka.
Mr. Mwale says that up to now, independent tobacco growers are still not sure when they will sell the crop, as the association is still waiting for feedback from government on its negotiations with companies.
He explained that tobacco companies have maintained their stance that they will only start buying tobacco from independent growers after buying their sponsored crop.
Mr. Mwale has appealed to tobacco farmers to remain calm and not take their tobacco to Lusaka, saying this is affecting negotiations between EFAZ, government and buying companies.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mwale has encouraged companies that are offering good prices to farmers to continue, but called for improved payment system.

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