Zim to surpass 2014 tobacco target

HARARE - Zimbabwe has sold 179 million kg of tobacco since the opening of the 2014 selling season mid-February, surpassing last year’s 167 million kg.

This indicates that the country —hoping to grow its agriculture sector by nine percent this year — could exceed its 180 million kg target for 2014.

Statistics released by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (Timb) on Thursday revealed that by day 71 of the selling season, about 179 million kg had gone under the hummer fetching $571 million compared to last season’s 136 million kg valued at $506 million.

However, this season’s prices are depressed.

The average price has remained unchanged at $3,18 per kg for the past two weeks compared to an average $3,71 per kg recorded in 2013, a variance of 14,19 percent.

Timb noted that contractors’ average daily throughput has declined from a record high of 3,5 million kg to around two million kg per day.

“Auction floors continue to receive less deliveries per day compared to the same period last year,” said Timb.

Zimbabwe’s tobacco production is on a rebound following the increasing number of farmers who are venturing into production of the golden leaf.

To date, about 106 127 growers have registered for the 2014 season compared to about 90 879 who had registered by the same period last year.

Recently, Timb’s chief executive Andrew Matibiri said the increase in the number of tobacco growers was not going to compromise prices.

He said prices were determined by the quality of the crop.


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