Tobacco farmers have so far earned USD 305.2 million from the sale of 102.3 kilos of their flue-cured tobacco, reports The Herald.
The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) reports that the numbers reflect a decline compared to the 124.2 kilos worth USD 335.2 million sold at the same time last year. The Board also revealed that the prices are higher at the auction floors than at contract floors, although more tobacco has been sold through the contract system than at auction. According to The Herald, the average price at the auction floor on 23 May was USD 3.13 per kilo while an average price of USD 2.97 per kilo was recorded at the contract floors. Numbers from the TIMB show that farmers sold 7 million kilos worth USD 22 million at the auction floors and 95.3 million kilos worth USD 283.2 million at contract floors.
The past season had seen accusations being raised against contractors saying they had failed to pay growers on time however, since, the TIMB has introduced new measures to regulate contract farming in the tobacco sector, reports The Herald. Also, tobacco farmers are receiving 75 per cent of the proceedings for their crops in foreign currency compared with only 60 per cent last season.