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Zimbabwe: Tobacco Industry Less Than 5 Million Kilogrammes Shy of 2025 Target

IN a development that actualises the popular idiom ‘where there is a will, there is a way’ tobacco farmers have demonstrated that with an enabling environment, they can beat any set targets after managing to deliver 296 kilogrammes of the golden leaf, just falling short of hitting the 300 million kilogramme target set for the year 2025.

This colossal feat, which was achieved by Day 110 of the 2023 tobacco marketing season allowed farmers to score a 43 percent improvement from the 206 million kilogrammes of tobacco that they had delivered during the comparable period last year.

The farmers have since pocketed US$896 million, which is a 42 percent change from the US$632 million they had earned during the corresponding time in the 2022 marketing season.

This year’s average price has been US$3, 03 per kilogramme compared to last year’s US$3, 06.

Farmers producing tobacco under contract arrangement have delivered 276 million kilogrammes to date worth US$839 million while their auction counterparts were at 20 million kilogrammes valued at US$57 million kilogrammes.

The highest price has remained at US$6, 10 per kilogramme compared to last year’s US$6, 80 for a kilogramme of the golden leaf.

The lowest price for both years has remained static at US$0, 10 for a kilogramme.

This year the Government allowed farmers to retain 85 percent of their foreign currency portion with the outstanding 15 percent being paid in local currency at the prevailing interbank exchange rate, a development that is believed to have contributed to the rising volumes of the crop.

The 2023 tobacco marketing season officially ended on July 31 for the auction floors with the contract side still being allowed to take deliveries, which have since dropped to a trickle.

The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) has set August 30, as the date for the mop-up sales for the auction floors.

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