Millennium Tobacco on Wednesday opened its doors for trading bringing to three the number of auction floors now operating in the country.
An estimated 3 600 bales of tobacco were expected to be sold while the highest price per kg was $4, 50.
Millennium Tobacco chairperson Hillary Mombeshora said the development would go a long way in easing pressure at the auction floors.
“We have decided to open a third tobacco sales floor. The prices are fair just like at any other auction floors and farmers are bringing in very good tobacco,” said Mombeshora.
He said plans were already underway to open a second auction floor under Millenium Tobacco.
“We are talking to Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) with the hope of increasing each day sales by opening a second floor,” said Mombeshora.
TIMB chief executive officer Andrew Matibiri said the opening of the floors was favourable for farmers as it would create competition amongst buyers.
“It is our hope that by Monday next week there will be no more congestion’s at the floors,” he said.
Meanwhile, Matibiri dismissed as untrue allegations that the suspension of deliveries to auction floors was meant to divert farmers to the newly opened auction floor. He said Millennium Tobacco would also be affected by the temporary suspension of acceptance of tobacco.
“Farmers who have not yet brought their tobacco this week must wait until next week when we start collecting again. Our aim is to clear those who have submitted their tobacco and open again next week,” TIMB said in a statement.
“The suspension of tobacco deliveries and bookings is affecting all tobacco auction floors.”