tobacco queues.jpgTobacco farmers have commended the pricing consistency currently prevailing in the marketing period of the crop, amid calls that prices should go up once deliveries of cutters start as this type of the crop is usually of a better quality compared to the lower leaf.

The farmers say the prices have been satisfactorily consistent but expressed reservation over the failure by the crop to move beyond US$4,99 per kilogramme at a time delivery of cutters has started.

Tobacco cutters have a superior quality to the lower leaf which is normally delivered at the start of the season.

However, last Friday, the highest price at Boka Tobacco Auction Floors reached US$5 but went back to US$4,99 this Monday.

Most farmers, who spoke to ZBC News at the Millennium Tobacco Auction Floors, expressed satisfaction at the way at which their crop is being marketed but called on responsible authorities to ensure that there is a difference in pricing of the priming [bottom leaf] which is known to fetch low prices and the cutters [middle leaf] as the two are known to have different qualities.

Since the tobacco marketing season opened last month, prices have been ranging between US20 cents per kilogramme for the lowest grade and US$4,99 for the highest price per kilogramme.

According to the latest statistics which were released by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB), both the contract and auction systems account for more than 20 million kilogrammes of the crop valued at US$72 million.