Tanzanian tobacco farmers are receiving delayed payments due to a shortage of U.S. dollars, reports BNN.
Stanley Mnozya, director general of the Tanzania Tobacco Board, acknowledged that the shortage of U.S. dollars has made paying farmers difficult. Higher than anticipated tobacco production surpassing market demand has exacerbated the situation.
To address the situation, Hussein Bashe, minister for agriculture, held a meeting involving farmers, tobacco buyers and banks. The minister said farmers’ payments will be finalized by the end of July. The government is making efforts to ensure the funds are available in U.S. dollars.
Alliance One Tobacco Tanzania Limited (AOTTL), however, has successfully paid more than $71.9 million to over 12,000 contracted tobacco growers this season. AOTTL made direct payments of $1.72 million as crop cess to various districts and aims to expedite payments to contracted farmers, surpassing the required 14-day payment period set by law.
Delayed payments are causing financial difficulties and affecting farmers’ preparations for the upcoming season.