WASHINGTON DC —
Zimbabwe’s tobacco marketing season opened in Harare Wednesday with the highest price said to be above $5.00 per kilogram.
Speaking at the official opening of the selling season, Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) chairperson Monica Chinamasa said more than 88,000 farmers registered to produce the cash crop for the 2013-2014 season with 26,000 being first time growers.
Of the 26,000 new farmers about a thousand of them are from Masvingo, Midlands and Matabeleland North provinces.
Mrs. Chinamasa praised companies that contracted farmers to grow tobacco but said they should stick to their contracts.
She extended the same reminder to the contracted farmers, adding they should not engage in ‘side selling’ to avoid problems that have been experienced previously as firms and farmers argued over money.
Guest of honour and Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo praised tobacco farmers for ‘steering the growth of the country’s agricultural sector’.
Some farmers were, however, not happy with the opening prices Wednesday claiming their produce was being sold at prices below $2.00 per kilogram.
More than 5,000 bales of tobacco passed through Boka Auction Flooors, Premier Tobacco Auction Floors and Tobacco Sales Floors - the three floors licenced by the TIMB to auction tobacco this year.