The decentralisation of tobacco auction floors this year has been well received by most farmers across the country. Previously farmers had to endure the long journey to Harare and in some cases unscrupulous buyers pounced on the desperate situation to buy the tobacco for a song to resell later.
One tobacco farmer from Mvurwi, Tapiwa Rwafa said: “This means we don’t need to use money to travel from Mvurwi to Harare. I now travel less than 5km to sell my tobacco.
“We are also getting the same price as in Harare. Business is also booming at the moment and we have got a lot happening because of the tobacco auction floors,” he added.
Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board spokesperson Chelesani Moyo told ZTN that the five approved auction floors outside Harare have also benefited downstream businesses.
“We have approved auction floors across the country for contract tobacco auction selling, that is in Mvurwi, Karoi, Bindura, Marondera and Rusape.
“The decentralisation has helped tobacco growers cut on transport costs by utilising contract floors that are near them. This whole exercise has also been a great opportunity for the expansion of businesses in those regions,” she added.
To date a total of 105 994 741kgs of tobacco have been sold, earning the country over US$284 000 000. The value of the tobacco sold is up 58% from the previous season where 77,846,449kg worth US$105 994 741 had been sold by this time.