Elita Chikwati Senior Agriculture Reporter
The 2019 tobacco sales have hit the 100 million kilogramme mark as farmers continue to deliver their crop for marketing.
Deliveries have been improving with the variance in volumes declining from around 90 percent during the early days to 20 percent.
According to the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board farmers have sold 101,6 million kilogrammes worth US$184,3 million.
This is 20 percent less from the 127,6 million kg worth $369,6 million that had been sold by the same time last year.
The bulk of the tobacco sold so far has come from contracted growers who have delivered 86,4 million kg worth US$159, 6 million while self-financed farmers have sold 15,1 million kilogrammes worth US$25 million through the auction floors.
The seasonal average price is US$1,81 compared to US$2,90 per kilogramme during the same period last year.
Since the start of the tobacco marketing season at the end of March, more than 1 413 943 million bales have been laid for sales and of these 1 335 101 were sold while 78 842 were rejected for several reasons that included mold, while in some cases farmers refused the prices offered by buyers.