Tobacco selling prices at the countryâ€™s auction floors have gone up by four percent on the back of an increase in deliveries amid optimism of attractive returns for the growers by the end of the 2009/2010 marketing season.
The increase in deliveries and the average pricesÂ for the commodity from US$ 2,80 per kgÂ to at least US$4,10 per kg for the highestÂ gradeÂ has resulted in the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) extending the weekly trading days from two to three.
Tobacco growers at the auction floors say they are confident that the 2009/ 2010 marketing season will mark the recovery of the industry due to an improvement in the quality of the crop and favorable pricing.
The 2009/ 2010 tobacco selling season which started on 16 February this year comes at a time when the commodity is expected to play a crucial role in terms of foreign exchange earnings, employment creation and the growth of the agricultural sector.
Seventy seven million kilogrammes of tobacco are this year expected to go under the hammer at the auction floors compared to 58,6 million kilogrammes soldÂ during the 2008/2009 marketing season.