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ZIMBABWE

Tobacco auction on brink of collapse

27 Jul 2020. The tobacco auction system in Zimbabwe is facing collapse, after the tobacco auction floors only constituted 5 per cent of the total delivered crop, reported Bulawayo 24.

According to the report, Zimbabwe’s Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) has released figures which show that in the 57 days since the auction floors have opened, they have only received 5 per cent of total crop delivered. This includes the Tobacco Sales Floor, Boka Tobacco Floor and Premier Tobacco Floor.

In Zimbabwe, tobacco is sold via both auction and contract floors. Statistics from TIMB show that, so far this season, the auction floors have only received 7 million kilograms of golden leaf, valued at USD 19.4 million. This is significantly less than the 140 million kilograms, worth USD 339.5 million, which has been sold at contract floors. This year, there were 31 contract floors registered to buy tobacco, even though the system was only introduced in 2004.

George Seremwe, the president of the Tobacco Association of Zimbabwe, has called for government intervention to help support farmers to be self-reliant and to save tobacco floors from collapse, stating “It is not healthy to depend on the contractors alone. We need government intervention by either paying backpays or incentives for the growing of the crop.”