Tobacco farmers have hailed the prevailing prices at the auction floors which they say are favourable, but have called on the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) to ensure that Class B buyers do not emerge this season as they distort prices.
Tobacco farmers say the current prices being offered by buyers are satisfactory, but have urged the TIMB to be alert and work on a mechanism to bar Class B buyers who normally distort prices through unscrupulous activities.
The farmers say the Class B buyers who are commonly known as â€˜re-handlersâ€™ normally appear during the mid-selling season, adding that every time they emerge, prices fall.
â€œWe donâ€™t want to see these handlers this season, they reap where they did not sow and this handling business reduces prices,â€ one farmer said.
â€œThis yearâ€™s prices are favourable and we thank President Mugabe for giving us the opportunity to earn a living through tobacco,â€ said another farmer.
The delivery of tobacco to auction floors is still very low, but hopes are high that the volumes will increase next week.
The prices are ranging from US$2.50 per kilogramme to US$4.95 per kilogramme.