tobacco.jpgTobacco industry is poised for growth with farmers expected to surpass the 2009 selling season target as deliveries at the auction floors continue to rise.

Current tobacco sales have surpassed the half mark of last season selling season.

The 2010 tobacco selling season roared into life two months ago with high expectations within the industry as the golden leaf was fetching high prices on the market stimulating farmers to deliver more.

The number of tobacco farmers increased with prices firming to US$2.90 per kilogram and currently the golden leaf is going for US$4.50 per kilogram.

With the target of 77 million kilograms of tobacco expected to go under the hammer this season, 16 million kilograms have already been sold despite operating with two auction floors.

Last season tobacco industry targeted 42 million kilograms which they surpassed by selling 58,5 million kilograms worth over US$174 million recording a 23% increase from the previous season.

This season farmers have complained about the failure to be cleared on time and the weighing concept which they described as flawed though officials at the auction floors defended the system.

The tobacco industry’s achievement so far becomes the yardstick for the success of the country’s land reform programme and initiatives to liberalise the sector which has seen the industry recording high growth rates.