Farmers have earned US$8,9 million in the first three days of the 2021 tobacco marketing season after selling 3,7 million kg of the crop at the auction and contract floors.
This represents an increase of over 1 000 percent from the US$783 465 earned by farmers during the same period last year after the sale of 374 338kg.
The 2021 tobacco marketing season opened last Wednesday while contract floors opened the following day. Most of the crop so far has been sold through the contract floors.
The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) has revealed that 3,3 million kg of tobacco valued at US$7,9 million has been sold at the contract floors in the first two days, while farmers sold 489 153kg worth US$1 052 245 at the auction floors in three days.
The highest price at the auction floors is US$4,99 while contractors have offered a highest price of US$$6,30 per kg.
So far, 45 651 bales have been sold at the contract floors compared to 6 145 bales at the auction floors.
Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president, Dr Shadreck Makombe, yesterday said farmers with a good quality crop were getting viable prices while a low quality crop was fetching low prices.
"So far prices appear to be fair especially at the contract floors. We expect the prices to continue firming as farmers bring the best of their grade. We urge farmers to work on improving the quality of the crop," he said.
Zimbabwe National Farmers Union vice president, Mr Edward Dune, said there were still some issues at the auction floors, which need to be "sorted out".