Runyararo Muzavazi and Kudakwashe Mhundwa
Tobacco deliveries at the country’s auction floors continue to impress, with 92 million kilogrammes raking in $226 million since the opening of the marketing season.
Latest statistics show that at least 74,1 million kg worth $207 million have been sold under the contract system, while the three auction floors account for 17,5 million kg worth $48,7 million.
The figures represent a 31 percent increase in the total mass of the golden leaf sold this year compared to the same period last year, when a total of 70,2kg valued at about $200 million was sold.
By close of business on Friday, the average price of tobacco was pegged at $2,79, according to the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB).
The highest price for flue-cured tobacco at the auction floors was pegged at $6 per kilogramme, while the lowest price recorded was 10 cents per kg.
Over 1,2 million bales have been sold while 1,3 million bales were laid at the floors.
At least 74 861 bales were rejected.
Seasonal exports are now at 41,4 million kg, earning the country more than $201 million.
Prices are four percent lower compared to the previous season and farmers are not happy, as evidenced by sale disruptions since the start of the season.
The parliamentary portfolio committee on Lands, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development said it would engage Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya over farmers’ payment.
This followed skirmishes the farmers had with the police at Tobacco Sales Floor last week over delayed payments.