by Tapiwa Mutonhodzi
Zimbabwe tobacco sales season ends today on a high note after reaching the unprecedented target of 238 million kilograms, breaking the 237 million kilograms record set in 2000.
Statistics revealed by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) indicate that tobacco farmers by the close of the tobacco sales season would have delivered close to $700 million worth of tobacco.
In an interview with Harare Post, a TIMB official on condition of anonymity said, “Tobacco deliveries received at the end of the season averaged about one million kilograms per day from more than six million kilograms that we received during the peak of the sales period.
“Famers who failed to deliver their tobacco before the tobacco sales closure date must not worry as a date for mop up sales shall soon be unveiled,” the official said.
Harare Post has learnt that the end of this year’s tobacco sales season has left many tobacco farmers satisfied with the prices at the auction floors which averaged around $4-00 per kg.
Currently farmers are already seized with land preparations for the 2018-2019 tobacco farming season and some have already began the process of planting their tobacco seed.
The golden leaf continues to provide the country with the much needed foreign currency. The close to $700 million earned by tobacco sales abroad can be increased. The country has potential to surpass $1 billion from tobacco earnings through initiatives by the New Government to ensure that tobacco farmers increase from the current 1800 registered growers.