Tobacco deliveries increase

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Flue-cured tobacco deliveries for the first 18 days have increased 19,66% this season compared to the same period last year, while sales are up 43,87%.

Some 14,7 million kg of tobacco have been sold compared to 12,3 million kg last year. The green leaf has so far made $53,6 million up from $37,2 million the previous year.

Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) chief executive officer Andrew Matibiri said the four floors were performing well and there was no congestion compared to last year.

“The only issue we have now is about the delivery of tobacco before registration, but we are dealing with farmers as they come,” Matibiri said.

Matibiri said the average price for tobacco increased this year due to demand for the green leaf. The average price for flue-cured tobacco is $3,71 per kg.

With regards to burley marketing, Matibiri said they were still negotiating with potential buyers.

According to TIMB weekly report for the last two weeks of February 2012, tobacco deliveries increased to 5,2 million kg up from 1,3 million kg in the first week of the selling season.

The figure was up 4,2 million kg of tobacco sold during the same period last year.

The 2012 selling season has
40 932 registered growers of which
14 686 are newly registered farmers.

The report said both seasonal and contract prices were favourable compared to the same period last year.

A total of 150 million tonnes of the crop are expected this year.

Agricultural production is expected to grow by 11,6% this year and tobacco is among crops that will assist increased output in the sector.

In the 2012 National Budget Finance minister Tendai Biti said: “The anticipated successful agricultural season is, hence, not only predicated on the anticipation of normal rainfall, but also critically, on adequate availability of agricultural inputs in the local market.”