tobacco hassien.jpgThe continuous critical shortage of Hessian material on the official market has triggered outrage from farmers who are now calling for an immediate intervention to save the situation, as tobacco cannot remain in bans for a long time after harvest.

 

Barely a week after supplies of wrapping material and deliveries of tobacco to the auction floors improved, tobacco growers are crying foul again as they are battling to secure Hessian material cloth used to wrap their golden leaf for sale.

 

Farmers who spoke to ZBC News are putting the blame on a local company that supplies the product that they accuse of sabotaging the land reform program by deliberately failing to order the wrapping material when farmers still have the crop to deliver.

 

“The problem now is, Hessian is only available at black market. We have been spending weeks queuing for the paper, but for almost two weeks we couldn’t access the material. This is sabotage, can the government intervene,” said one farmer.

 

Propak Managing Director Mr. Patrick Maenzanise who admitted the shortage and attributed it to high demand, encouraged farmers to be patient as his company has secured a consignment that is expected to arrive any time.

 

“Yes the situation was quite challenging due to high demand by farmers, but honestly speaking we are working flat out to deal with the situation. Today we have supplies of the Hessian from TPZ, and another consignment is in transit from Beitbridge hoping it will arrive today. This I believe will go a long way in cushioning the farmers,” said Mr Maenzanise.

 

The big question now is, why is a single company enjoying monopoly of the material especially now that there is marked increase in the number  of  tobacco  farmers  and  hectares  under the golden leaf?