Tobacco marketing season closes

By Chido R Svotwa


CHINHOYI -THE tobacco marketing season will close on Monday July 31 in what has
been described as a successful season in which farmers were paid record prices for
their crop.
The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board said in a statement: “After consultation with
all stakeholders, the board wishes to advise that the official date of closure for the 2023
auction floors is July 31, however, growers will still be able to sell their auction tobacco
through a mop up sale. The final auction clean-up sales will be held on Wednesday
August 30, 2023.”
Contract sales will continue to operate until individual contractors have fully received all
their tobacco.
However the tobacco selling season is set close after so many achievements which
includes the rise of the price on the average price for flue-cured tobacco to USD$5.20 a
kg, from USD$4.50 a kg last year. This is the highest average price for flue-cured
tobacco in Zimbabwe since 2016.
The high prices have been driven by strong demand from international buyers. China,
the worlds largest tobacco importer, has been buying large quantities of Zimbabwean
tobacco. Other major buyers include the European Union, the United States, and India.
The high prices are a welcome relief for local tobacco farmers, who have been
struggling with low prices in recent years. The high prices are also a boost for the
economy, as tobacco is one of the country's major exports.
This is good news for Zimbabwean tobacco farmers, who are finally getting a fair price
for their crop.
The TIMB states that by day 92, farmers had sold 271 million kg of the flue-cured
tobacco valued at US$825 million on contract and 20 million kg at the auction floors
worth US$57 million.
The 2022/2023 production season has seen productivity rising from about 1.7 tonnes
per hectare in 2022 to the current 2.2 tonnes per hectare.

However, farmers are worried that although productivity and production has increased
this season, their profitability is shrinking due to an increase in the cost of production,
against constant output prices.
Rodney Ambrose, the Chief Executive Officer of the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association,
argues that tobacco output prices for the 2021, 2022 and 2023 marketing seasons have
remained fairly constant while input prices have increased more than 30 percent in the
2022/2023 production season negatively impacting on profitability.

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