Long and winding queues have resurfaced at the auction floors as tobacco farmers intensify deliveries with the top quality leaf fetching highest prices at US$4.60 per kilogramme.
Most tobacco farmers who have been holding on to their cash crop, owing to poor prices since the opening of auction floors this month, have started delivering their leaf, thanks to interventions by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and Ministry of Finance to bring sanity to the floors.
“It’s a good start, there is huge improvement this week as merchants and farmers now have a better understanding of the RBZ and government intervention. With a first of US$4.60 per kg, we are expecting a full house starting tomorrow, so farmers are happy,” said Ethical Leaf Tobacco Chief Executive Officer David Machingaidze.
Perkins Kafukura is a tobacco farmer from Mount Darwin who has been relieved by the new contract sales as his top quality leaf hit the highest price.
“I am very happy about the price offered at this floor, US$4.60 per kg at first sale then it means I will be rich when I bring my best leafs next time,” said Kafukura.
“I was hesitating to bring my tobacco following reports of poor prices at the beginning of the season, but from what I witnessed today, the uncertainty is over and we can happily bring more tobacco,” says another farmer.
With the top quality leaf fetching US$4.60 which can be exchanged on interbank rate of the day, and transporters now delivering the golden leaf in their numbers, it is certain that the 2019 tobacco marketing season is getting into full swing.