Tobacco Farmers Earn Us$4,6m

By Elita Chikwati

Farmers have earned US$4,6 million from the sale of flue-cured tobacco since the opening of the 2019 marketing season two weeks ago. The growers have sold 2,6 million kilogrammes at the auction and contract floors. Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board’s latest statistics indicate that the bulk of the crop has been sold through the contract floors.

The statistics show that 1,4 million kilogrammes worth US$2,5 million was sold through the contract floors while 1,2 million kilogrammes worth US$2,1 million was sold through the contract system.

The highest price at the action floors has remained at US$4,50 per kilogramme while contractors have offered a highest price of $5 per kilogramme.

Tobacco deliveries are low this season when compared to the same period last year. During the corresponding period last year farmers had sold 12,3 million kilogrammes worth US$34 million.

There have been some improvements in the deliveries by farmers to the auction floors especially after Government scrapped the two percent charge on all transactions.

Deliveries to the floors were low during the first days of the season as some farmers adopted a wait-and-see approach, while others who sold their crop were not happy with the low prices on offer.

 The 2019 tobacco crop was grown under grim weather conditions characterised by late rains and prolonged dry spells especially when the crop was almost ready for reaping.

Tobacco production has been on the increase in the past years with Government coming up with programmes to promote value addition to increase foreign currency earnings through increased export.

The Second Republic’s thrust is to develop an infrastructure that supports a thriving and open economy which is capable of creating new opportunities for investors and more employment.

A record 252 million kilogrammes was last year delivered to the auction floors compared to previous record of 231 million kilogrammes in 2000.

This season stakeholders in the tobacco industry are expecting between 240 million and 260 million kilogrammes.

Source: The Herald

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