Tobacco sales floors still open

27 Jul, 2022 - 00:07 0 Views
Tobacco sales floors still open

The Herald

Mukudzei Chingwere

Herald Reporter

MOP up sales of tobacco will continue every Wednesday at all sales floors until all the produce from farmers has been sold, Cabinet announced yesterday.

The decision follows the closure of daily sales last week, but alive to concerns of farmers who are yet to sell their harvest, Cabinet ordered they should be allowed to do so to alleviate looming losses.

Cabinet also advised that wheat in the country is sufficient to meet local requirements though they still retained the reprieve for millers to import if they wish.

These developments were confirmed after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa.

“Pertaining to tobacco production and marketing, 188 million kilogrammes of tobacco worth US$572.3 million have been sold to date. Daily auction sales closed on July 20 2022, but mop up sales will continue every Wednesday at all sales floors until all the tobacco has been sold.

“As at July 20 2022, tobacco merchants had exported a total of 84 227 566 kilogrammes of tobacco valued at US$398 595 501, compared to 73 238 993 kilogrammes exported during the same period last year, with a value of US$ 286 312 965”

Minister Mutsvangwa also said of the tobacco summer plan, indications are that 97 percent of the crop will be grown under contract.

She said the area under production is expected to be 129 500ha with an estimated volume of 190 to 200 million kilogrammes of flue-cured tobacco against a tobacco transformation plan target of 275 million kilogrammes.

Minister Mutsvangwa said the key enablers for the summer programme include support through supply of fertilisers, mechanisation, irrigation support programmes and capacitation of extension staff and farmers.

She advised that as of Monday, grain stocks stood at 450 407 tonnes, comprising 393 183 tonnes of maize, and 57 223 tonnes of traditional grains. 

Minister Mutsvangwa said farmer payments of $2 166 980 068,10 and US$3 687 793 were availed by Treasury while whole grain delivered was valued at US$3 752 460, giving an outstanding balance of US$64 486,42.

“The closing wheat stocks stand at 33 268 tonnes and wheat stocks are sufficient for local requirements, however, millers should import at least 9 000 tonnes monthly,” she said.

“The country has a wheat crop record of 78 798ha which is 8213ha above the previous record crop of 70 585ha achieved in 2004.

“Regarding cotton marketing, a total of 39 070 236 kilogrammes of seed cotton has been purchased at the common buying points across the country compared to 66 615 999 kilogrammes last year.”

Meanwhile, Minister Mutsvangwa said flocks of the problematic quelea birds have been spotted in Kwekwe District, Midlands Province and Hurungwe District in Mashonaland West Province.

In separate interviews, farmers unions commended the move to re-open the sale of tobacco.

Zimbabwe Indigenous Women

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Tobacco sales floors still open

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 Farmers Association Trust president Mrs Dephinah Nkomo commended government for addressing their concerns.

“We are happy that we have a listening Government that has addressed our concerns. They have taken action from the concerns we raised.

“Our wish is for everyone to be able to sell their tobacco, if they stop accepting the tobacco, those with the produce have nowhere to go with it and the ensuing losses will be untold.

“What they have done shows that they are a listening Government with good working relationships with farmers which will help our country achieve its vision in the agricultural sector,” said Mrs Nkomo.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president Dr Shadreck Makombe also advised fellow farmers to move with speed and quickly sell their produce.

“We are happy that those who have not yet sold their produce will now be able to do so. There was nowhere they could have taken the tobacco and now that the sale is open it is good news to farmers.

“To farmers who are yet to sell their tobacco, our advice is that let us quickly take our produce to the floors and not wait for the last minute, let us make the most of this reprieve,” said Dr Makombe.

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