More than 25 000 tobacco farmers have not yet registered with the Tobacco Industries Marketing Board (TIMB) to be able booked at the auction floors to sell their crop despite calls for them to do so to allow prior planning so as to avoid congestion which was witnessed during last seasonâ€™s marketing period.
Last seasonâ€™s tobacco selling was characterised by congestion at the auction floors with farmers spending a number of days sleeping in the open waiting for a chance to let their crop go under the hammer.
The problem has mostly been attributed to some farmers who bring their tobacco to the floors without registering.
Despite last seasonâ€™s numerous calls for farmers to register their crop in time, only 34 734 out of the expected 60 000 growers complied with the TIMBâ€™S 31st October registration deadline.
In an Interview, the TIMB Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andrew Matibiri said the final date for registration was 31 October and a penalty fee will be charged to all growers who have not yet registered.
The current crop assessment shows that 56 369 hectares are under tobacco.
The registration of tobacco before selling is aimed at providing information for planning purposes.