The 2022 tobacco selling season officially opened on Wednesday, 30 March, with sales being conducted at the Tobacco Sales Floors (TSF) and Premier Tobacco Floors (PTF).
The opening of the Boka Tobacco Floors (BTF) was postponed to Monday next week to pave way for the road construction works adjacent to the premises.
The first bale fetched US$4.20 per kg which is lower than the US$4.30 per kg fetched by the first bale last year.
Farmers will get 75 per cent of their payments in foreign currency and the funds are being treated as free funds.
Speaking the official opening at TSF, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister Anxious Masuka said:
As the Minister responsible for this subsector, my gaze, and mind, are fixed on the entire value chain — on fairness, ethics and probity, transparency, accountability, discipline, equity and on sustainability.
Through the Tobacco Transformation Plan (TTP), we will build this industry ‘Brick by brick and stone upon stone’ into a US$5 billion industry by 2025.
Masuka warned buyers against offering higher prices at contract sales compared to auction sales for a similar grade of tobacco. He said:
I am recommending the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) inspectorate unit continue to work with other security agencies to eliminate these vices. Discipline must return to this important industry.
Contractors should provide the prescribed minimum support package for both smallholder and commercial farmers and farmers must repay this support through the delivery of the crop to contractors while avoiding side-marketing.