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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Tobacco farmers smile all the way to the bank

Story by Davison Vandira

THE 2023 tobacco marketing season which officially kicked off last week, started this week on a good note with a high price of five dollars sixty cents, much to the excitement of growers this Monday.

The first two days of the golden leaf realised slightly above US$2.7 million, demonstrating its power to generate forex for Zimbabwe.

393 000 kilogrammes went under the hammer with an average price of US$2.62, while the highest price was US$6.50.

In Harare, the contract floors opened this Monday with indigenous tobacco firms leading the way, with a high price of US$5.60 being realised and farmers are excited the season has started on a good note.

A farmer, Mr Erick Changadzo told the ZBC News, “As a contracted farmer, I am very happy that for the 30 bales that I brought, 15 of them were paid US$5.60 and this is a great deviation from the past.’’

Another farmer, Mr William Chapepa noted, ‘‘It’s still early into the season, however, indications on the ground are that the pricing mechanism in place corresponds the quality that has been brought.’’

Another farmer, Ms Joyce Mhlanga noted, ‘‘I am a farmer from Manicaland and am really impressed with the level of organisation displayed thus far and I just want to thank government for intervening.’’

Yet another farmer, Ms Sandra Majoni said, ‘‘Traditionally, the tobacco marketing season is characterised by challenges but this season there is some resemblance of sanity and we just pray that it stays like this.’’

Tobacco productivity is part of the broad agriculture transformation agenda as the country targets the attainment of an US$8 billion agriculture industry.

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