By ZBC Reporter
THE tobacco selling season has raked in more than US$200 million in 25 days with the average price going up by 17 percent compared to last season.
Latest statistics by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board, TIMB, show that tobacco sales have racked in US$220 million in 25 days compared US$132 million earned the same period last year.
With the average price of the leaf recording a 17 percent jump, farmers are smiling all the way to the bank.
“Our tobacco has paid dividends this time around, as a farmer representative we found that because of good quality produced by farmers the price are satisfactory,” said one farmer.
Merchants attribute the excitement on the part of farmers and high volumes to attractive prices and competition triggered by decentralisation of auction floors.
“We attribute this to good quality owing to good rains and decentralization has brought about competition within the industry, says Augustine Ajento of Shasha tobacco,” said Augustine Ajento, a Tobacco Marketing Expert.
“We have seen a 45 percent increase in deliveries meaning farmers are not holding on to the leaf because they are getting attractive prices. We urge farmers to take advantage of the momentum where prices are high to deliver their crop and earn good proceeds,” observed Andrew Mupfawa another Tobacco Marketing Expert.
The country is expecting more than 185 million kilogrammes of the golden leaf this season.