Farmers have appealed to government to urgently enforce a policy to decentralise tobacco floors as a stop gap measure to decongest the auction floors which are health time bomb.
The call to decentralise tobacco floors is growing louder following cases of robbery, murder, and prostitution as a result of thousands congesting the main auction floors in Harare.
A visit by ZBC News to the floors set up by one of the companies which has taken heed of government’s call to decentralise in Mvurwi and Karoi showed that decentralisation is the way to go to deal with disorder prevailing at tobacco floors in Harare.
The farmers at Mvurwi and Karoi floors described the decentralisation set up as the best and convenient way which cut transport costs and ensures safety of the farmers as they will sell their tobacco and go back home rather than risking their lives sleeping in the open in Harare.
The farmers, however, called on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to facilitate the opening of banks at decentralised tobacco floors so that they can easily access the cash rather than battling long queues at banks after selling their crop.
Both auction and contract tobacco sales floors are premised in Harare and over 90 000 farmers are forced to come to the capital city to sell their crop triggering congestion and chaos at the floors.