THE 2007 tobacco selling season officially ends today with a total of 68 million kg valued at US$159 million ($39,8 billion at the official rate) having b
een sold by Wednesday.
The figure is 12 million kg short of the initial projection although it does not include sales recorded yesterday and today. Government last month revised the 2007 tobacco output at 75 million kg.
The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board yesterday it was considering extending this year’s tobacco marketing season to accommodate farmers who faced transport problems over the past three two weeks.
TIMB acting chief executive Andrew Matibiri said if the deliveries remained strong they would be forced to extend the selling season by an unspecified period.
“The marketing season would have to be extended if deliveries remained strong,” said Matibiri who said he was confident that about 77 million kg of tobacco would be sold by the end of the selling season.
“We will only arrange clean-up sales towards the end of September to beginning of October,” Matibiri said.
Matibiri applauded the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for introducing a support price, saying it induced viability in the sector, which has, in recent years, witnessed a sharp decline in production levels.
Matibiri said the industry was targeting to increase production to 120 million kg next year, following the purchase of seed enough to cover 95 000 hectares.