Jul 25 2012

Tobacco marketing is decentralized

Published by at 12:09 pm under Cigarette news,Tobacco news

The government and the Tobacco Industry’s Marketing Board (TIMB) are exploring ways to decentralize the marketing of the crop in the province in order to reduce transport costs for farmers, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said.

At present, four auction floors – Boca Tobacco Auction Floors, Tobacco Sales Floors, Zimbabwe Leaf Tobacco, and Millennium Auction Floors – are licensed to harvest the auction, but they are all in Harare, that is, farmers have to bear the huge transportation costs.

However, introducing a medium-term financial review recently, Biti said the government and Industry sought ways to ease the burden of transportation for the farmers.

“Government, together with the TIMB exploring alternatives to tobacco marketing decentralized provinces and districts of the following problems associated with high transport costs and congestion at the current auction floors,” he said.

Meanwhile, TIMB said that sales of the current season will close on Friday with a revised target 133 million kg of being surpassed.

“TIMB said that in the last day of the 2012 flue-cured tobacco auction: February 27th with the final deliveries are accepted Thursday, July 26,” TIMB said in a statement Tuesday.

“All manufacturers are advised to complete the sorting and baling operation long before the last date of sale. Purchase Agreement will continue until further notice. Dates of net sales will be announced in due course.”

Initial estimates had put this season crop in this season to 180 million kg, but this was revised downwards due to reduced hectare planted, due to financial difficulties.

However, TIMB chief executive Andrew Matibiri said they expect an even higher output in the next season.

“It shows that tobacco is still coming through. We have an idea of how much we have to revise upwards the (current) tobacco season ends,” he said.

Recent data from the TIMB show that 134 million kg of tobacco valued at U.S. $ 496, 3 million has been put on the auction floor to the country last Friday, a 45% higher than the U.S. $ 343 million over the same period last year.

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