The 2020 tobacco auctions in Zimbabwe have come to an end with only contract floors remaining open and farmers concentrating on next season’s crop, reports The Herald Reporter.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic the 2020 tobacco marketing season got off to a late start in April and auction sales days had already been reduced to three days a week.
Farmers sold 177 million kg of tobacco worth USD 444 million which was down by 23 per cent from the 232 million kg worth USD 456 million sold during the same period last year, according to The Herald Reporter. Of the 177 million kg sold, only 9.1 million were sold through the auction floors due to the decentralisation of floors to prevent the virus from spreading.
“The auction has played a very small role in the sale of tobacco this year because of the devolution of sales to the districts, so the auction sales are effectively over. The final sales day is Friday and we will wait until there are some bits and pieces of tobacco for clean-up sale and this will be probably sometime in September,” said TIMB chairman, Mr Patrick Devenish.
Most farmers have now sold their crop and will be focussing on transplantation which begins next month.