60 farmers appeal for ‘ fodia “
Chipata, March 26, 2014, ZANIS….Over 60 farmers in Chipata district of Eastern province have appealed to government to stop the Eastern Fodia Association of Zambia (EFAZ) from operating the tobacco market floor.
The farmers from different parts of the province have alleged that EFAZ has not been handling issues of tobacco floors effectively.
Independent Tobacco Growers Interim Secretary David Nyirenda said this in an interview with d ZANIS in Chipata District, today.
He said that EFAZ has placed restrictions that the farmers in Eastern province should only sale their tobacco in Chipata and not any other place.
Mr. Nyirenda said that the sale of tobacco in Chipata only will not be competitive as there are only few companies buying hence disadvantaging farmers.
He explained that many companies buying tobacco in Eastern province have their own farmers, adding that priority to buy tobacco will be given to sponsored farmers therefore making it difficult for independent farmers to sell their produce.
He said the restriction on the sale to Eastern province only is also contrary to government policy of free market and is aimed at disadvantaging the farmers from realizing profit from their hard labour.
He noted that the marketing of tobacco in Eastern province has been hit by various challenges such as high floor charges and transport.
Mr. Nyirenda stated that it is for these reason that Independent Tobacco Growers in the province want to find a solution to the problems there are facing in accordance with the Tobacco Board of Zambia Act.
He disclosed that the farmers have since lodged their complaint to Tobacco Board of Zambia to provide guidance on the matter.
He further called on government and Tobacco Board of Zambia to quickly intervene in the matter and run the market floor for Eastern province.