MOROGORO: TOBACCO farmers in the country have been asked to stop mixing waste in their tobacco process, because by doing so, they reduce the quality of the crop for the international market.
It has been stated that the act of mixing waste compromises quality of Tanzanian tobacco being one best in the world.
Making the revelation while speaking to some 13,000 tobacco farmers from various areas who visited the company’s premises in Morogoro on Wednesday, to learn how the crop is processed, Alliance One Tobacco Tanzania Production Director, Mr David Mayunga, further said: “There are farmers with a tendency to add in other things with the aim of increasing weight, something which affects quality and increases the costs for removing wastes from the tobacco when they arrive at the factory for processing.”
He narrated how some farmers have been putting things like stones, sandals, mattresses, fabrics and bird feathers with the aim of increasing the weight and that in turn, cause loss to the company.
This forced the company, through Extension Officers to educate them so that they know how to handle the crop before sending it to the market.
Equally, the company’s Director General, Ephraim Mapoore emphasised that the visit was an opportunity for the farmers to practically see how the crop is processed in the factory, adding that they should be good ambassadors to convey the message to others to focus on best agricultural practices.
In the course, some 140 Extension Officers were trained and tasked to extend the skills to the farmers so that they stop the ill-behaviour and in turn concentrate on increasing quality of the crop.
“This year some 13,000 farmers visited our factory to learn and see the value chain in the tobacco crop processing before being sold abroad,” said Mayunga.
He said so far the company has paid 152.4bn/- to farmers in the 2022/2023 season, adding that they are well prepared to receive more tobacco sole to them in the coming season.
In addition, Mayunga said that the company has paid 4.6bn/- to the District Council as taxes, 4.7bn/- to primary associations and 2bn/- to the Central Cooperative Societies.