Tobacco farmers continue to be exposed to squalid conditions and long winding queues at the auction floors despite promises by auction floor owners that this yearâ€™s selling season will be smooth and efficient.
They say â€˜to live like a king you have to work like a slave.â€™
After toiling and sweating in the fields for months and enduring long uncomfortable journeys, tobacco farmers tell of yet another nightmare at the auction floors.
Despite promises from the auction floor owners to improve efficiency and ease the burden on farmers this year, the situation at the Tobacco Sales Floor (TSF) is characterised by long winding queues with farmers waiting for more than a week to have a chance to sell their crop.
â€œWe have been here for about a week now but we have not yet received any service from the floor. It seems they have not made any improvements from last year despite promising to improve efficiency in service delivery,â€ said one farmer at the auction floor.
Farmers who spoke to ZBC News said despite registering with the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB), their names were not found in the tobacco growers register.
Others said they were duped into believing that their transporters had done registration on their behalf in advance.
Maybe the pain and suffering that farmers have to go through is going to be a wakeup call to TIMB that more planning needs to be done before the next selling season.