mr silas hungwe.jpgStakeholders have called upon responsible authorities to ensure farmers engaged in contract farming are not exploited by contractors.

The call for a mutually beneficial partnership comes against a background of some contractors who have been cashing in on desperate farmers by failing to meet their contractual obligations and buying farmers’ produce at low prices well below market rates.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union President, Mr Silas Hungwe said the contract farmers should get due reward for their efforts.

“We need a clear guideline that shall see farmers getting what they deserve after engaging contract farmers. The government has already come up with such a policy and what is needed is enforcement as some farmers are still crying foul,” said Mr Hungwe.

Tobacco Farmers national chairman, Mr. Douglas Mhembere also added his voice saying there is a need for the government to organise workshops to educate farmers on contract farming.

“The most affected farmers are tobacco farmers who are always on the loosing side. There is need for farmers to be equipped with the required knowledge on contract farming,” Mr Mhembere said.

Some farmers have since raised concerns on the issue of contract farming with some saying they are being paid low prices for their produce by contractors.

While farmers are complaining of being exploited by contracting firms for not meeting their end of the bargain, the firms in turn accuse farmers of side-marketing their produce.