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Tobacco prices up as marketing season nears end 

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The average price of tobacco has shot up to $2.95 per kilogramme, surpassing last year’s figure of $2.93 per kilogramme as the 2016/17 tobacco marketing season is fast approaching an end.

Farmers and experts expressed confidence that there is room for improvement if growers are fully equipped with inputs and the technical skills to grow the golden leaf.

This comes as the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) has reduced the tobacco sales days to two from five, a signal that the 2016-2017 marketing season is gradually coming to an end.

Sales are now conducted on Tuesdays and Thursdays for auction floors while it is business as usual at contract sales.

Latest statistics by the TIMB show that the average price has shot up to $2.93, reflecting that most farmers have come of age to produce best quality tobacco.

Most farmers delivering their last crop at the floors are upbeat over the upward and positive trend in tobacco prices.

Tobacco marketing expert, David Machingaidze said with more inputs and technical support given to the new crop of farmers, dreams to turn the tobacco industry into a $1.5 billion business sector can be achieved by next season.

To date, farmers have raked in over $515 million from the golden leaf.

There is a substantial drop in bales rejected, an indication that most farmers have mastered the art of growing the golden leaf which has seen a number of tobacco growers ballooning to over 97 000.

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