The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) says it will open the auction floors for the 2010/11 tobacco selling season on February 15.
In the 2009/10 season, 123, 5 million kilogrammes of tobacco was sold, grossing $137 million.
The bulk of the output was produced by small-holder farmers. $161 million, from 2009 growers’ proceeds and private financing, financed the cropping.
It is estimated that output will increase to 150 million kilogrammes from about 90 000 hectares in the next season.
Contract farming is also expected to increase to 40 000 hectares from 30 000 hectares last year due to facilities that have been availed by the banking sector.
Boka Tobacco Floor (BTF) and Tobacco Sales Floor will be operating the auction floor.
“BTF will only open as and when the sales floor is ready for business,” TIMB said in a statement.
“Renovations and refurbishments that are being carried out are necessary to avoid experiences that growers went through in 2010 and previous marketing seasons. TIMB will be monitoring work progress at the floor and stakeholders will be notified when the facility is ready for tobacco sales,” TIMB said.