Elita Chikwati Agriculture Reporter
Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board chief executive, Dr Andrew Matibiri yesterday said this year’s marketing season will close on July 15 and mop up sales will be carried out in August. “TIMB advises that the final day for the 2015 flue-cured tobacco auction sales is Wednesday July 15, with final deliveries being accepted on Tuesday July 14, 2015. “All growers selling through the auctions are advised to complete their grading and baling operations before the final sales day,” he said.
Dr Matibiri said clean up sales will be held from August 4.
He described the 2015 season as a difficult one as the crop was affected by heavy rains and drought which resulted in low yields.
Last year, the selling season was closed on July 7 and farmers had sold 166 million kilogrammes of the crop.
According to the TIMB, farmers have so far delivered 174 million kg.
“We advise farmers to produce a crop that is required by the market, this season farmers with a poor quality crop got low prices for their tobacco while those with good quality received higher prices,” he said.
During the peak of the selling season, tobacco growers delivered around 8 000 and 10 000 bales per day but now auction floors are receiving 3 000 bales per day.
“Deliveries to the auction floors have declined significantly as most farmers have already sold their crop. Most contract farmers are still selling their crop with large numbers coming from Mashonaland East and Manicaland,” he said.
There are prospects that the deliveries will surpass the targeted volume of 185 million kg.