tobacco.jpgThe tobacco marketing season has been officially opened this Wednesday with government calling for an improvement in services as well as fair pricing for the crop so as to benefit the farmer.

 

The call was made by the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Dr Joseph Made while officially opening the 2012 tobacco marketing season at the Boka Tobacco Auction Floors.

Dr Made hailed local farmers for their commitment to silent critics of the land reform programme through striving to produce the best tobacco quality on the international market.

He said there is need to channel adequate resources towards the production of the golden leaf as it stands as one of the major contributors to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, (GDP).

Some of the farmers whose crops were the first to go under the hammer expressed confidence that the marketing season will bring smiles to them, adding that their success is a clear vindication of government’s land reform programme.

The host to this year’s official opening, Boka Tobacco Auction Floors’ Chief Executive Officer, Ms Rudo Boka challenged other players in the industry to act as catalysts that will take Zimbabwe to the top of the international market.

The first day of the auctioning season saw the highest price pegged at $4.65 per kilogramme while the lowest was $3.50 per kilogramme.

According to the TIMB, 80% of registered growers are small scale farmers.

This season also recorded 12 803 new growers who registered to sell their tobacco for the first time.