THE 2013 Tobacco selling season has opened with Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere urging the financial sector to increase funding for the agricultural sector especially the tobacco production as the contributed 10,7 percent of Gross Domestic Product last year.
He noted that financial support from banks to the agriculture sector has since declined from 74 percent in the past to the current 17 percent.
Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board chairperson Mrs Monica Chinamasa warned buyers against forming price cartels that saw them offering a fixed price of US$4,99 per kg last year for all grades of tobacco. She said the practice will not be tolerated this season.
The first bale of tobacco has sold for US$4, 70.
Zimbabwe Farmers' Union second vice president Berean Mukwende says they were hoping for a better price than the US$4, 70 since the closing price for last season was US $4, 90.