Farmers woes ease as MTF opens

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The country’s third tobacco sales floors, Millennium Tobacco Floors (MTF), are expected to open this week.

Until recently the country only had one operational auction floor which was Tobacco Sales Floor.

The second auction floor, Boka Tobacco Sales Floor, opened a fortnight ago.

An MTF official, speaking on behalf of the company’s chairperson Hillary Mombeshora, said collection of the golden leaf in readiness for sales began last week on Saturday.

“We are hoping to start buying tobacco on Wednesday (tomorrow). We are waiting for the go ahead from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board,” he said.

When NewsDay Business visited the floors yesterday, employees were busy putting final touches to the floors ahead of the anticipated opening Wednesday.

Long queues of farmers had already started forming at the auction floors.

It is widely expected the coming on board of MTF would ease challenges that were being faced by farmers in recent weeks.

A total of 170-200 million kilogrammes of flue-cured tobacco is expected to be delivered to the floors this season, up from 120 million kilogrammes last season.