High tobacco volumes sold this season have raised questions on the credibility of projections issued by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) which is likely to revise its projections for the third time this season.
Volumes sold at the countryâ€™s auction floors exceeded the 114 million kilogramme mark defying the revised projected target for total output of the golden leaf for the 2nd time.
Latest statistics from the TIMB show that golden leaf volumes have almost doubled last yearâ€™s output of 58.5 million kilogrammes, raking in US$334 million.
However, projections previously issued by the TIMBÂ have raised questions as they were way off the mark.
Initially, tobacco output was estimated to reach 77 million kilogrammes, a projection which was later revised to 93 million kilogrammes and revisited again last month to 114 million kilogrammes.
TIMB Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Andrew Matibiri however defended the projections saying some areas like Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland West started receiving rainfall after the marketing season had already begun and hence output was more than anticipated.
â€œYields were severely discounted when we opened the marketing season in some areas, but they began to pick up,â€ said Dr Matibiri.
Concerned stakeholders believe that projections should be near the mark so as to allow for proper planning.
Meanwhile, seed sales are ongoing at a fast pace with 600 355 grammes of seed having been sold by the 11th of August.
The volume sold is enough to cover 100 00 hectares of the golden leaf which means production will surpass the season target earmarked at 90 000 hectares.