Tobacco farmer in serious trouble for side-stepping crop sale agreement

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In a concerning incident, a Hurungwe farmer named Augustine Nyamadzawo (38) from Nkani village, Chief Nematombo, Magunje, has been convicted and sentenced for breaching the Farmers Stop Order Act.

According to the details provided by the National Prosecuting Authority of Zimbabwe, Nyamadzawo entered into a contractual agreement in July 2023 with Boost Hail and Cotton Private Limited under the Farming Input Credit Scheme. As part of this agreement, he undertook to grow tobacco and received the necessary inputs from the complainant, while also agreeing to work under the supervision of an agronomist appointed by the complainant.

However, upon harvest, Nyamadzawo failed to fulfil his obligation to sell the entire tobacco crop to the complainant as per the agreed terms. Instead, he delivered the crop elsewhere, causing a prejudice of USD829 to the complainant, with nothing being recovered.

Nyamadzawo was subsequently arraigned before the Karoi Magistrates’ Court for contravening the Farmers Stop Order Act, which prohibits “dealing with the whole or part of any crop or any proceeds thereof in such a manner as to avoid or to be likely to avoid the due payment of any prescribed costs, addressee’s fees, registered stop-orders or special stop-orders relating to such crop.”

The court convicted Nyamadzawo and sentenced him to 6 months imprisonment, with 4 months suspended on the condition of restitution of USD829 by July 1, 2024. Additionally, 2 months of the sentence were suspended on the condition that Nyamadzawo pays a fine of USD150.

This case serves as a stark reminder of the importance of upholding contractual obligations and the consequences of breaching the Farmers Stop Order Act, which is designed to protect the interests of both farmers and the agricultural sector as a whole.


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