The closing date for the ongoing tobacco sales has been set for the 27th of this month and farmers who are yet to deliver their golden leaf should do so by the 26th of July.

The ZBC News today visited auction floors and witnessed a sharp decline in tobacco deliveries, indicating that the 2018 marketing tobacco season is finally coming to an end.

“The volumes are declining and other companies have already closed. It has been a good season considering the quality of delivered tobacco in light of the poor rainfall patterns experienced this season, so farmers have performed beyond expectations,” a tobacco marketing expert, Solomon Mangwiro said.

Farmers now have 10 days to go to wind up the deliveries after the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) announced that the floors will close on the 27th of this month. Farmers however expressed mixed feelings on the tobacco pricing matrix applied year in year out.

“The pricing is not favorable as compared to the first days,” said one farmer who withheld his tobacco after fetching poor prices.

“Tobacco is paying lucratively this season, it all depends on the how you handle and cure your golden leaf. We have made good money this time to send children to school and buy household goods,” another farmer said.

The visit to auction floors also revealed huge consignments of tobacco already processed and ready for export.

With over 230 million kilogrammes expected to go under the hummer this marketing season, tobacco production is expected to earn the country about $700 million in foreign currency.