Aim to achieve leaf integrity

Nesting is a crime which attracts a penalty of $20 per bale or imprisonment for a year or both

Apart from aiming to achieve chemical integrity of the leaf (ie reduction in pesticide residues, correct concentrations of nicotine, minimising tobacco-specific nitrosamines, etc), it is also important to achieve physical integrity of the leaf.

Physical integrity is achieved by delivering a product that is free from non-tobacco related material (NTRM) such as grasses, feathers, plastic, string etc.

It is important to control weeds proliferation until the end of the harvest as doing this assures greater productivity, better quality as well as reduces foreign material.

Farmers should not use plastic materials in packing or storing tobacco as these contaminate the tobacco leaf. Organic materials are better preferred.

In addition, any materials used on the farm that could cause an unpleasant odour in the tobacco must be stored away from all tobacco handling areas.

These materials include wood preservatives, diesel, paraffin, crop protection agents etc.

Great care should be taken to ensure that grease from the baling box screw does not come into contact with tobacco.

It is recommended that the screw is always greased under supervision.

Grease contaminated bales when found at the Floors will be rejected and labelled as “damaged” (DR).

It is important that no foreign matter is in any bale of tobacco thus only clean tobacco should be offered for sale.

“Clean” means completely free of floor sweepings, grading tickets, pieces of string, plastic, grass, newspapers and any other foreign matter.

Care should be taken to remove any hessian fluff from graded tobacco.

The use of polythene and plastic products is definitely not recommended in tobacco handling.

Bales found before sale to contain any foreign matter at all will be closed up and not sold.

Bales found after sale to contain foreign matter will be rejected as WR (foreign matter).

Should 10 percent of the consignment be found to contain foreign matter, the whole consignment will be rejected.

All growers who are repeat offenders are risk rated and their subsequent tobacco deliveries are subjected to through inspections.

Furthermore, growers are encouraged to use only approved materials for packaging tobacco, therefore all growers should procure packaging materials from credible and approved suppliers.

Farmers should avoid buying packaging materials from road sides since product hygiene and quality cannot be verified.

Growers and auction floors are advised that auction sales of tobacco packaged in non-prescribed hessian wraps, baling twine or paper are not permitted.

Information pertaining to approved packaging material suppliers is available from TIMB (ie for hessian wraps, baling paper and baling twine)

In further pursuit of physical integrity, tobacco moisture must be maintained at a level that avoids deterioration of quality.

Farmers should not store tobacco that contains excessive moisture as this will affect the physical quality as tobacco will become stained, dark and mouldy.

Additionally, growers should ensure that no attempt is made to hide inferior tobacco in the centre of bales, or pieces of stem under tied leaf.

Please note that all nested tobacco will be forfeited to the Board and shall be re-handled and sold to the Board’s account.

Finally, growers should not forget that sorting of the tobacco is essential to presenting a good final product.

Growers should take all reasonable care to present for sale undamaged tobacco that is uniformly graded, free from contamination and foreign matter or any other non-tobacco related materials.

For any additional information please contact TIMB on telephone numbers 0772145166 /9 or 0279-22082 /21982 or 025-3439 or 067-24268 /29246 or 0277-2700 or 064-7280 or 0271-6772 or E-mail: [email protected] or visit our website on www.timb.co.zw

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