Statistics from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) show that by day 72, farmers had earned USD 408 million from the 211 million kilogrammes. However, this is a decline of 6 per cent from the record 252 million kilogrammes that were sold by farmers during the same season in 2018, the report said.
Of the 185,226 registered growers, 121,951 are contracted, while 22,954 non-contracted growers have delivered their crop so far. TIMB marketing information officer Freedom Tivagare confirmed that 76 per cent of the registered tobacco growers had delivered their crop for sale. “Daily deliveries have declined from an average of five million kilogrammes during the peak period to between two to three million kilogrammes,” he was quoted as saying.
According to the report, the 2018/2019 season was described by many farmers as a difficult as the late rainfall affected production and quality of the crop in some areas. Farmers also complained about falling prices this season compared to the previous prices. The TIMB said it will make evaluations at the end of the season and make recommendations to the responsible authorities to ensure the challenges are solved, the report said.