$578,5m worth of to­bacco sold since March: TIMB stats

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business -

A TO­TAL of 196,5 mil­lion kilo­grammes of to­bacco worth $578,5 mil­lion have been sold since the 2016 mar­ket­ing sea­son com­menced in March this year, lat­est sta­tis­tics from the in­dus­try reg­u­la­tor show. Final sta­tis­tics for the sea­son, which ended on Au­gust 5, will be re­leased af­ter con­clu­sion of mop-up sales next Tues­day.

Sta­tis­tics from the To­bacco In­dus­try and Mar­ket­ing Board (TIMB) af­ter day 94 of sales showed an in­crease both in the value and mass sold com­pared to the same pe­riod last year.

Dur­ing the com­pa­ra­ble pe­riod last year, at least 189,9 mil­lion kg of to­bacco were sold at a value of $555,7 mil­lion.

In the pe­riod un­der re­view the av­er­age price for to­bacco was $2,94 per kg com­pared to $2,93 per kg ob­tain­ing last sea­son.

The past crop­ping sea­son was char­ac­terised by drought which re­sulted in farm­ers plant­ing late, while the crop was also heav­ily af­fected by dry spells.

This year, the mar­ket­ing sea­son opened with some farm­ers com­plain­ing over the new pay­ment sys­tem which the Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe in­tro­duced, which re­quired them to open bank ac­counts into which pay­ments would be de­posited as op­posed to re­ceiv­ing spot cash at the floors as in pre­vi­ous years.

The new pay­ment sys­tem was met with mixed re­ac­tions, with some farm­ers wel­com­ing it while oth­ers felt the old sys­tem was more con­ve­nient, par­tic­u­larly in light of the cash short­ages that the coun­try was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing.

But, the cen­tral bank tried to cush­ion them from the change by sim­pli­fy­ing the process so that banks only re­quired to­bacco farm­ers to fur­nish them with their na­tional iden­tity card and grower’s num­ber in or­der to open bank ac­counts.

In ad­di­tion, the bank ac­counts have favourable con­di­tions which in­clude waiv­ing of charges for main­tain­ing them. — New Ziana

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