USD flood black market as farmers get incentives

KAROI– The elusive United States dollar flooded the market over the weekend forcing it to tumble here.

Karoi farming town within Hurungwe district is surrounded by resettlement and communal farms that has seen an upsurge of tobacco farmers following the land reform that kicked off in 2000.

However, USD scarcity that has affected health and other key sectors in services delivery made a sudden appearance and flooded the black market over the weekend bring a ray of hope for both farmers and some players in financial sector.

This follows the accessibility of hard currency by some tobacco farmers from Hurungwe in Karoi town on Saturday.

The farmers who are mostly contract farmers from Mashonaland Tobacco Company, (MTC) among other companies started getting incentives for mostly labour as tobacco curing is now underway.

Tobacco season is due in few weeks-time and some farmers are reaping their crop.

Some had been affected by lack of financial resources and welcomed the move to get money at the weekend.

Several farmers who have been contracted by MTC among other companies have been receiving their financial requirements as part of the terms.

Of late the USD that was being pegged between 3.3 to 3.5 bond to one USD dollar hit a low and tumbled to an average of 3 per one US dollar.

The market squeeze saw some of the money changers being forced to reduce the rates they had been offering to mostly people who get regular inflows from relatives in the diaspora mostly United States of America, Europe, Austria among others that have seen the country managing against low production.

‘It is true that this weekend, USD has flooded our market and we are offering around $300 bond for USD $100. Forex has flooded the market,’ said Rodwell Mundara.

He trades near Cabs bank within Karoi central business centre.

Some of the farmers are getting the cash incentives in hard currency are those registered under CBZ bank in the farming town.

A resettled farmer under Chief Kazangarare, Tongai Ropo said he got USD$300 that will help him supplying his tobacco to the company that contracted him.

‘From what I understand we are the first team of farmers who got this money as they are two more groups. This has been a relief as I will pay off my dues that I owed to those who were helping me in my two-hectare tobacco plot,’ he explained.

Ironically some farmers who were contracted by some companies were getting $100 bond that they said it will be used to pay labour.

One of the farmers Trymore Mudimu of Sadoma in Makonde said he got the money from Chinhoyi Agri-bank branch.

‘This is the first time that I managed to get $100 bond at once and part of my contract, it will help me out,’ he said in an interview in the provincial capital.