Tobacco deliveries increase as prices firm

Source: Tobacco deliveries increase as prices firm | The Herald April 24, 2019

Tobacco deliveries increase as prices firmInformation, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa (second from right) addresses journalists during a Cabinet briefing in Harare yesterday. She is flanked by (from right) Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube , Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando and Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda. — (Picture by Innocent Makawa)

Felex Share Senior Reporter
Tobacco deliveries at most auction floors are increasing gradually, with the Government yesterday saying it expected prices to firm after the Easter holidays.

The 2019 tobacco marketing season started on March 20 and farmers have been complaining about the low prices they were getting, while contractors were concerned with tax rates.

Briefing journalists after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said: “Cabinet received an update from the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement on the 2019 tobacco marketing season which commenced on 20th March 2019. Thirty-one contractors and 36 auction floor buyers had been licensed to operate. There has been a gradual increase in daily deliveries at most selling points. Prices are expected to firm up after Easter holidays.”

Last week, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube assured farmers and merchants that Government would look into issues affecting them to ensure a smooth marketing season.

Minister Mthuli Ncube

He said: “Farmers are concerned about the prices which they feel at this stage are low. The prices always start a bit low, but improve with time. The delays in the delivery of the crop for sale may be a strategy to maximise their returns. Prices will get better and farmers should hang in there. I think they will have a good season considering the current exchange rate on the market. The earnings should be good in domestic currency for farmers. The farmers have also made it clear that they do not want the two percent tax to affect their earnings and I have accepted quickly and have removed the tax because we want the maximum benefit to go to farmers as they are our foreign currency earners. This will go a long way in putting that extra dollar in the farmers’ pockets.”

Farmers are getting their money in RTGS and getting 50 cents per kilogramme cash for the RTGS and 10 cents per kilogramme hard cash.

Meanwhile, Prof Ncube yesterday said Government was concerned with prices of basic commodities which continued to rise without justification.

As such, he said, Government would continue engaging concerned stakeholders with a view to finding a lasting solution.

“This is an issue Government will continue to be seized with,” Prof Ncube said.

“We are ensuring that we keep the lines of dialogue and communication open with industry to make sure there are no surprises in terms of hikes. We are trying to understand their pricing model. We work together, but as Government we have opened up access to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) to smaller bakers not just large operators so as to increase competition. We are doing everything we can to make sure we manage price increases going forward.”


  • comment-avatar
    Mukanya 3 years ago

    In short the tobacco farmer has been short-changed already before dawn.

  • comment-avatar
    Mixed Race 3 years ago

    They deserve to be short-changed because they accept lies daily from these ministers.This government will never tell the truth because their economic policies are rotten and aimless.They just need these small scale farmers to provide a resource they need to sell to their crooked chinese buyers at a give away price per kg.The promised forex to the farmers has suddenly disappeared because these well oiled politicians have siphoned it for themselves and then replaced it with useless RTGS.I really hope that these small scale farmers have learnt a bitter lesson, NEVER to trust our politicians again.They should have concentrated in growing edible crops to avoid starvation among their families,but due to their misguided and naive mentality they were easily lured into growing tobacco for these politicians.Clever ones reap from the foolish ones.