Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
TOBACCO farmers will start delivering their crop at the auction floors early next month before the opening of the selling season on March 15, an official has said.
Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) spokesperson Mr Isheunesu Moyo said farmers would start delivering their crop on March 6 ahead of the opening of the auction floors.
“Farmers are expected to start delivering their crop on March 6 ahead of the start of the auction sales.
“From the information that we have gathered as TIMB so far, farmers are ready for the opening of the 2017 tobacco marketing season.
“We have also been informed by the farmers that the quality of this year’s crop is excellent despite some recent hailstorm that were experienced in some parts of the country such as Mashonaland West,” he said.
Mr Moyo said in preparation for a successful and smooth-running selling season, TIMB has licensed three auction floors- Tobacco Sales Floor, Boka Tobacco Auction Floor and Premier Tobacco.
Last year, the tobacco marketing season opened on March 30.
Fourteen contract sales floor would be buying tobacco from the farmers and buyers were still coming in for registration.
The Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union has said it expects favourable prices this year’.
The farmers have highlighted that any price ranging between $4 and $5 per kg would be favourable as it would allow them to break-even and be able to go back in the fields in the next cropping season.
Tobacco is one of Zimbabwe’s major foreign currency earners and in 2016 the country realised $933 million from tobacco exports.
Since 2009, the tobacco sector has also been pivotal in improving liquidity in the economy.