Harare — As the tobacco selling season progresses, the number of bales being rejected for different reasons continues to decline compared to the same period last year, the industry regulator has said.
Main reasons for tobacco being rejected at the point of sale include bales being overweight, underweight, bad handling resulting in excessive or inadequate moisture and moulds, or farmers rejecting the price offered.
Recent statistics that the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) released on day 51 of the selling season show that 110 992 bales were rejected, translating to a 4,3 percent decrease compared to the 115 930 bales rejected last year during the same period.
Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (ZFCU) director Jeremiah Tevera said the decrease could be a result of experience in handling the crop which farmers would have acquired the previous farming and selling seasons.
"Farmers would have learned something from previous seasons and addressed the quality issues which ultimately leads to a lower rate of rejection," he said.
He said awareness of quality requirements was also rising, leading farmers to increase the quality of their produce.
The TIMB report showed that the majority of rejected bales came from Tobacco Sales Floor (TSF) with 24 013, followed by Boka Tobacco Floors
(PTF) with 7 261 and Premier Tobacco Sales Floors (BTF) with 7 261 respectively.
So far, at least 2 273 223 bales have been sold since the tobacco marketing season opened on March 21 this year.