Scores of barley tobacco farmers have been left stranded at the Boka Auction Floors for two weeks failing to find buyers for their crop.Â Â
The farmers, who claim to have spent a fortnight at the floors still waiting for their barley tobacco to be bought, are now blaming the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) for failing to explain the procedures which they should take to sell their crop.
In an interview with ZBC News, Boka Auction Floor Growers Accountant, Mr Moses Bias confirmed the floor has received more than 3000 bales of barley tobacco for safekeeping and has also applied for a bank loan from one of the commercial banks to enable them to buy the tobacco but the loan is still being processed.
â€œWe are left with no choice, we have helped the farmers with a warehouse to keep their crop. We have again applied for a loan from the CBZ so that we can pay off these farmers and allow them to go back to their homes,â€ said Mr Bias.
Efforts to get a comment from the TIMB were fruitless as the executive members said they were attending a meeting.
Zimbabwe mainly produces Virginia tobacco, while a few farmers opt to grow the barley tobacco due to its low expenses and labour.
This year, the farmers are proposing an average price of between US$2,50 and US$3,50 per kilogramme.
Sources say buyers prefer to buy barley tobacco from Malawi where it is reportedly cheaper.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â