ZIMCODD called tobacco farmers demands to be paid in the United States Dollars justified as the agronomists always struggle to access inputs which are sold in foreign currency.
In an email, the justice organisation said farmers should be paid their hard-earned currency and allowed to voluntarily participate in the foreign currency exchange market.
“This will cushion them against market distortions characterised by high inflation and fluctuating exchange rate,” the organisation said.
“Despite this, farmers retention of foreign currency for their sales will help them prepare for the upcoming 2019-2020 farming season as they will be in a position to purchase inputs such as tractors, and other implements.”
ZIMCODD says this at a time when reports that Zimbabwe’s Central Bank is failing to pay tobacco farmers circulate in the country’s spheres.
The Reserve Bank promised to pay a 50% foreign currency retention threshold for tobacco farmers.
“Ignoring the demands by tobacco farmers will not only undermine the capacity of tobacco farmers but further widens the trust deficit between government and citizens,” ZIMCODD said.
“The government must consistently implement policies that safeguard people’s livelihoods.”
Tobacco is the second foreign currency earner after gold in Zimbabwe.
“The obtaining situation in 2019 tobacco marketing season is undermining the agricultural sector which is the backbone of the economy,” the organisation said. “Policy consistency and clarity is key if Zimbabwe’s economy is to be resuscitated.”