Tobacco racks in US$15 Million

By ZBC Reporter
THE Tobacco selling season continues on a positive trend with sales having broken the 15 million United States dollar mark in just four days.
The current tobacco marketing season is breaking previous records with each passing day as deliveries of the golden leaf reach impressive figures.
A quick comparative analysis of the first four days against the same period last year reveals a huge leap in both volumes and monetary value.
6.1 million kilogrammes of the golden leaf valued at 15 million United States dollars have gone under the hammer in just four days as compared to 2.4 million kilogrammes valued at 5.4 million United States dollars last season.
While there are pointers to a fruitful tobacco season ahead, self-financed famers have had to endure several challenges.
“We are self financed farmers and our main concern is the price ceiling of 4.99 USD on the Auction sales contrary to what is happening on contract sales, we are calling on the TIMB to be flexible as they have only decentralised contract sales while auction sales only occur in Harare which create additional costs for some of us,” said one farmer.
“We are appealing to Authorities to be sincere and solve our challenges, especially self funded farmers who are enduring a lot of costs but being put on the downside by predetermined prices of not more than 4.99USD per kg, where I come from in Karoi an auction floor is just 10km away but I was told the auction floor is for contract sales, what this means is that there is an increased relapse of covid 19 as people from all over the country are congregating in one place in complete defiance of laid down regulations,” said another tobacco farmer
Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andrew Matibiri acknowledged the challenges highlighted by farmers but bemoaned lack of infrastructure.
“As TIMB we are aware of these challenges and we are working on streamlining our processes to improve efficiency and effectiveness to bring value to the farmer,” he said.
Addressing the challenges is key towards increasing the country’s foreign currency generation capacity.

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