CHIREDZI – The Zimbabwe Sugarcane Development Association (ZSDA) chairman, Addmore Veterai has urged small to medium sugarcane farmers to pay their bills in time in order to avoid frustration which comes when their service providers demand all their dues at once.
Veterai was speaking following numerous complaints by members of the association that Tongaat Huletts was leaving them broke after demanding all the money which it is owed by the farmers.
Recently, farmers from Chipiwa complained the sugar giant was overcharging for its services and leaving them stone broke.
"Tongaat is one of our biggest service providers supplying us with inputs, transport, and milling services. It becomes a disappointment when they choose to take all that we owe them in one go and leave us with zero balance because that stalls our business," said Ross Gava who is one of the farmers from Chipiwa.
Another farmer Francis Mutsura said what Tongaat Huletts was doing was unfair because the company claims all the bills in one month thus making it difficult for ordinary farmers to pay other bills and continue with in the business of farming.
However, Veterai said ZSDA will engage Tongaat Huletts to find a better way of solving differences in a manner that is beneficial to the company and farmers.
He urged farmers to avoid unnecessary bills and pay their current bills on time.
"Farmers must be careful about letting their debits accumulate and they should always engage their creditors in time when they have issues so that the debt repayment terms can be changed. This is very critical in building trust between the farmer and the service provider," Veterai said.
He also encouraged farmers to develop a culture of repaying their debts for them to remain in business.news