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Tobacco sales hit $490m

28 Jun, 2017 - 01:06 0 Views
Tobacco sales hit $490m (file pic) Buyers bid for the golden leaf at the official opening of the tobacco selling season at Boka Auction Floors in Harare

The Herald

Buyers bid for the golden leaf at the official opening of the tobacco selling season at Boka Auction Floors in Harare

Buyers bid for the golden leaf at the official opening of the tobacco selling season at Boka Auction Floors in Harare

Runyararo Muzavazi Herald reporter—
A total of 166,8 million kilogrammes of tobacco worth $489,3 million have been sold since the 2017 marketing season opened in March, latest statistics from the industry show. During the comparable period last year, at least 166,9 million kg of tobacco were sold at a value of $489,4 million. 

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The country has so far exported 47,2 million kg of flue-cured tobacco worth $248 million since the beginning of the year to more than 52 destinations at a price of $4,71 per kg.

Statistics released by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) show that there was a slight dip in revenue from exports of $11 million from $259 million to $248 realised this year .

Seed sales have also increased by 94 percent, with 505 845 grammes worth 84 308 hectares having been sold so far, compared to 260 835 worth 43 743 hectares during the same period last year.

The cropping season was characterised by incessant rains which resulted in prolonged curing and early ripening of tobacco.

This year, the marketing season opened with farmers complaining over the new payment system introduced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).

The system required them to open bank accounts into which payments would be deposited, as opposed to receiving cash at the floors as in previous years.

The new payment system was met with mixed reactions, with some farmers welcoming it, while others felt the old system was more convenient.

RBZ tried to cushion farmers by simplifying the process so that banks only required them to provide their national identity cards and grower’s numbers to open bank accounts.

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