Harare (New Ziana)-Tobacco farmers have so far sold 99.3 million kilograms of tobacco worth US$295, 9 million, statistics released by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) show.
Of the total volume of tobacco sold so far, 92,4 million kg were sold via the contract system while only 6.8 million kg of the crop went under the hammer.
According to the statistics released on day 35 of sale, the volume of tobacco sold through both contract and auction sales is down 17.62 percent from 120.6 million kg that were sold during the comparable period last year.
Tobacco is being sold at an average price of US$2.98 per kg, compared to US$2.69 during the same period last year.
The tobacco being sold this year was grown under very challenging weather conditions, characterised by late rains, followed by incessant and excessive rains in January causing water logging, nutrient leaching, and disrupting weeding and other agronomic operations.
Tobacco is the country’s biggest agricultural export, and second largest single commodity export after gold, raking in around US$800 million last year.