Tomato growers from Zimbabwe’s in Chipinge and Chimanimani districts are smuggling tomatoes into Mozambique in search of lucrative markets, according to the Manica Post.
Owing to the two districts’ proximity to Mozambique and the porous border line, smugglers are taking advantage to smuggle the crop.
Espungabeira and Matshazi in Mozambique provide the most lucrative markets.
The bulk of the tomatoes are coming from Birchenough, Nyanyadzi and Musikavanhu irrigation schemes reports www.thezimbabwemail.com
Growers who spoke to The Manica Post said they are turning elsewhere because the crop had flooded the local market and forcing them to sell it too cheaply.
They said some companies that had contracted them to grow tomatoes failed to honour their promises to buy from them. This resulted in the crop rotting on farms.
A farmer at Nyanyadzi Irrigation Scheme said: “We had a very good crop but some of the companies that had contracted us let us down as they did not buy from us. The tomatoes then flooded the local market. For example, a bucket is presently fetching around US$3 or R50 and this is very little considering production costs. Tomatoes are perishable and this has forced us to look for markets in Mozambique.”
He added that some Mozambicans are buying the crop in bulk for resale.
Chipinge District police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Jowert Kamera warned farmers against smuggling the crop.