TIMB talks tough on tobacco nesting

by | Apr 29, 2024 | Business, Local News | 0 comments

TIMB talks tough on tobacco nesting

Business Reporter

THE Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) has promised stern action against farmers involved in tobacco nesting saying there would be serious repercussions awaiting those caught at the wrong end of the law.


TIMB’s warning comes on the backdrop of increasing cases of tobacco nesting. Tobacco nesting is the act of fraudulently including non-tobacco related material in tobacco bales with the intention of increasing bale weight or concealing bad tobacco under good quality tobacco so as to deceive the buyer on the nature or quality of a bale’s contents.


In a recent X (formerly twitter) post, TIMB warned farmers to desist from perpetuating the vice emphasising that there were severe consequences for those who chose to ignore the law.


“Warning! Tobacco nesting is a serious crime, desist from it. This can result in arrest, hefty fines, criminal prosecution and grower deactivation,” read the post.


All nested tobacco is forfeited to the board and grower numbers are blocked, hence tobacco farmers should ensure that no attempt is made to hide inferior tobacco in the centre of bales, or pieces of stem under tied leaf.


TIMB public affairs officer Mrs Chelesani Tsarwe said according to the TIMB (Marketing Rules) Statutory Instrument 29 of 2000, Section 51 and 62, it was considered an offense to sell nested tobacco.


She added that the offending farmer would be required to pay a fine of US$30 dollars per every violation at the police station.


“As TIMB, we are conducting training and awareness campaigns to discourage the sale of nested tobacco. Nesting is an offense that incurs a fine and results in the loss of tobacco,” said Mrs Tsarwe.


Meanwhile, TIMB is also working to curb side marketing and come up with a transporter compliance framework, which would work towards developing a vibrant system that monitors the movement of tobacco from the primary source to the market.


TIMB head of operations Mr Blessing Dhokotera said: “In this regard losses are minimised thereby increasing farmer profitability and viability for improved livelihoods by 2025,” he said.


“The framework seeks to counter criminal activities like side marketing, tobacco bale theft, bale swapping and forgery on stop order launching.”


TIMB also urged farmers not to use plastic materials in packing or storing tobacco as these contaminate the tobacco leaf.


The use of polythene and plastic products is definitely not recommended in tobacco handling thus farmers should use organic materials.


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