tobacco floors sale.jpgThe Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board has granted another local indigenous player a provisional licence to buy tobacco this season, bringing the number of auction floors to three.

 

When ZBC News visited the new auction floor in Msasa Industrial Site in Harare, contractors were busy fixing and cleaning the premises in preparation for the opening set for this month.

Speaking after receiving the licence, the Millennium Company’s Board Chairman, Hillary Mombeshora, said the bulk of the equipment and accessories needed to kick start the auctioning of tobacco have been secured.

 

“We are going to open one of the biggest sales floor, with a cacity to handle 3 000 bales per sale and given the opportunity to conduct two sales a day, we can see the sale of about 7 000 bales a day,” he said.

TIMB Chairman, Mr. Njodzi Machirori, said the coming on board of the third player will help ease congestion which is being experienced due to large volumes of tobacco delivered.

 

He said: “We are considering a new player who are coming as the third auction floor and we are still monitoring their operations to ensure they will meet TIMB standards. Once that phase is through, we are prepared to offfer them a licence to start trading.”

This season’s tobacco selling season has been characterised by chaos at the auction floors with the buyers seemingly overwhelmed by the number of farmers who have brought their crops.

Some farmers have complained that they are being short changed claiming that their tobacco is being turned away over flimsy reasons.

 

Meanwhile, Boka Tobacco Floor has finally opened its doors to farmers bringing relief to hundreds of tobacco farmers who were experiencing difficulties in selling their crop since the beginning of the selling season.

 

It was a hive of activity as hundreds of farmers thronged Boka Tobacco Floors to witness the first sale at one of the biggest floors in Africa which opened its doors to growers after almost two months of renovations.

 

The opening of the floors saw the first bale hitting US$4.30 while the highest quality of the golden leaf clocked US$4.40.

The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board Chairman Mr. Njodzi Machirori expressed satisfaction over the improvements made by the Boka family in transforming the auction floors to meet the farmers’ needs.

Farmers who spoke to ZBC News after selling their golden leaf welcomed the opening of the second auction floor saying the move will go a long way in increasing competition and easing congestion.

 

Boka Tobacco Floors Chief Executive Rudo Boka assured farmers and other stakeholders that her organisation will thrive to ensure that clients are given the best services.

The country is expecting about 170 million kilogrammes of the golden leaf this season and TIMB is optimistic that with more and more farmers now contemplating growing tobacco, production levels can hit the 250 million kilogrammes mark.