Farmers have so realised about $250 million from tobacco sales this marketing season, a development attributed to keen interest demonstrated by both indigenous and foreign investors into tobacco production.

Latest statistics by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) show that about 90 million kilogrammes of tobacco have so far gone under the hammer, which is 32 percent higher compared to 69 million kgs sold during the same period last year.

17.2 million kgs have been sold at auction floors, while contract sales received about 70.5 million kgs.

Tobacco marketing expert, David Machingaidze attributed the upward trend in deliveries this season to the growing zeal on part of both the indigenous and foreign investors to support tobacco production.

The average price at both auction floors and contract centres stands at $2,78 per kg but cash challenges continue as banks are failing to meet the withdrawal limits set by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) owing to overwhelming turnout which has rocked the floors.

The country is expecting to earn about $700 million from the target of 200 million kgs of the golden leaf expected this season.