By Tatenda Charamba
Tobacco farmers yesterday said they were expecting fair prices this marketing season to enable them to reinvest in the production of the lucrative crop.
This comes as the 2017 tobacco selling season is expected to open on March 15.
Deliveries will start on March 6, while contract sales begin 10 days later on March 16.
Farmers who spoke to The Herald yesterday said they were expecting at least $4 per kilogramme for those with good quality tobacco.
“If the prices range from at least $4, then we will be happy,” said Mr Clever Mutaiko from Mutoko.
Farmers with tobacco under irrigation were at high risk of losing their crop as a result of water-logging and leaching but they managed to mitigate the loss by applying calcium nitrate.
“Despite the heavy rains experienced in the country, I am expecting to offer at least 2 000 kilogrammes for sale,” said Ms Erica Mucharwa from Marondera.
Progressive Tobacco Farmers’ Association of Zimbabwe president Mr Mutandwa Mutasa said most farmers who have grown irrigated tobacco were geared to deliver their crop for sale when the auction floors open on March 15.
“The bulk of farmers have gained experience over the years on how to produce a quality crop and expectations are high that a fair price matrix will be put in place to reward farmers for their sweat,” noted Mr Mutasa.
Last year’s average price at the beginning of the season was $2,48 per kg, up from $2,23 per kg for the corresponding period in 2015.