Home » Industry » Virgina Tobacco Deliveries on Target

The 170 million kg are now just 15 million kg shy of this year’s target of 185 million kg. According to the latest figures released by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board 170,74 million kg worth $543,01 million have been delivered so far since the beginning of the season in February. This is a 25,05 percent increase from the 136,5 million kg that were delivered at the same time last year and an 8 percent increase in earnings from the $504,65 million realised last year.

Average prices for this year at $3,18 per kg are however 13,96 percent lower than the $3,70 per kg that prevailed during the same period last year. Most of the tobacco delivered this year has come through the contract system, which is offering better prices than the auction system. The contract system has received 125,6 million kg worth $418,48 million while the balance of 45,05 million kg worth $124,52 million was delivered through the auction system Contractors are offering $3,33 per kg under the contract system and $2,76 per kg under the auction system.

The price disparity in the two systems that has also seen a ceiling price of $4,99 a kg for auction sales, has been viewed by independent tobacco growers as a ploy by buyers to kill the auction system and drive all farmers to join contract farming.

However buyers who are also contractors have indicated that the price disparity was due to banned chemical that are being used by independent growers.

Stakeholders in the industry believe that this year’s target is achievable given the g deliveries under the contract system.

“We have surpassed last year’s target just after four months and we still have approximately three or four months left in the season,” said one of the growers.

TIMB chairperson Mrs Monica Chinamasa recently indicated that she was optimistic that the target will be surpassed.

Her optimism was based on projections of outstanding deliveries that were presented by contractors after consultations with their growers.

Tobacco is one of the key crops that are expected to anchor the nine percent growth in agriculture this year within the framework of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation.

Source : The Herald