HARARE – More than 14 million kilograms of tobacco worth $40 million have been sold so far at auction and contract floors in the country since the marketing season opened last month, statistics from the industry regulator show.
Previously a preserve for commercial farmers, tobacco is fast becoming an attractive source of livelihood for many Zimbabwean small scale and communal farmers.
In a trading update, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) said sales had declined by 17 percent from $48 million recorded in the same period last year.
The average price for auction floors and contract farming stood at $2, 75 per kg which is 4, 7 percent higher than the $2, 63 of the 2017 marketing season.
The highest price stood at $5, 78 per kg while the lowest was at $0,10.
Rejected bales went down by 28 percent to 13 577 from 18 982 recorded in the previous period.
Bales sold are now at 188,683 while 202,260 have been laid.
Zimbabwe largely exports the bulk of its tobacco to China with the rest going to South Africa, Belgium, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Sudan and Russia.
Production of tobacco is expected to increase by nearly 6 percent to 200 kg compared to 189 million kg last year. – New Ziana