Farmers have earned US$494.9 million from the sale of 163.7 million kilogrammes of tobacco since the opening of the marketing season in March.
The latest statistics from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) show that production during the 2021/22 season, production dropped by 10 per cent while farmers’ income fell by 0.5 per cent as prices firmed.
The 180.5 million kilogrammes sold last season were valued at US$497.2 million.
TIMB chief executive Mr Meanwell Gudu said a poor rainfall season as a result of climate change had contributed to reduced yields this year. He said:
The decline in volumes is attributed to the poor quality of the rainfall season which was characterised by lateness, incessant rains followed by mid-season drought so it compromises the yield of the crop.
Overall, the quality is quite good as shown in the average price which is 10 percent firmer as compared to the same time last year.
Prices at auction floors are moderately firmer compared to contract floor prices, although the highest prices have been obtained on the contract floors. The average price on day 61 (Tuesday):
a). On the auction floor, it was US$3.13/kg,
b). On the contract floors, it was US$3.01/kg.
The highest price:
i). On the auction floor it is US$4.99/kg
ii). On the contract floors it is US$6.80/kg.
So far farmers have sold 10.6 million kg for US$34.4million through the auction floors while the contracted growers have sold 153 million kg for US$460.5 million.
Zimbabwe Integration Commercial Farmers Union president Mrs Maivepi Jiti said the tobacco season was now coming to an end with almost 75 percent of tobacco growers having sold their tobacco.
Tobacco is one of the major sources of foreign currency from the agricultural sector contributing almost US$800 million every year.