TOBACCO farmers have castigated the new E-Marketing system citing technical glitches and transactional irregularities as drawbacks to the system.
The much trumpeted automated tobacco marketing system had a false start due to technical glitches forcing auction floors to revert back to the manual system.
Speaking on Star-FM news last night, a number of Tobacco farmers expressed displeasure at the way the automated merchant system had dampened the mood at auction floors.
” The machine they are using is so slow, we actually had a misunderstanding with the buyers, its now taking four hours a row. And yet you,have 100 rows,you want to buy, it defeats the whole,purpose of this automation” said one disgruntled farmer. “All these bales,have already been opened, when are they gonna touch them
He said the operators,of the machines appeared to be manipulating the outcome of the grades.
“Of all these bales, only,one has been bought for four dollars, that’s,insane. I told them they,should,give,me,back my bales so that I return back home,” he said.
A TIMB Official said this e-marketing system is meant to curb the illicit sale of tobacco bales at auction floors.
“With this e-marketing system the issue we had in the past of illicit deals by unscrupulous merchants who masqueraded as TIMB workers will be a thing of the past,” he said.
He added that there are gadgets which look like phones used when doing transactions.
“Tobacco buyers will come buying using items that look like phones. There are TVs which display the quality, the kilograms, grower number, note number and the tobacco sale price,” he said.