Farmer's Voice

Protest in Zimbabwe due to low prices.

es.jpg Spanish version of the document 

Addressing farmers in Zimbabwe who are accusing leaf buyers of deliberately shortchanging them by offering prices as low as US$ 0.60 per kg, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board's chief executive Andrew Matibiri said the price of low-grade leaf is down 15-16% this year because buyers are more interested in high-quality leaf, which continues to command competitive prices.

Matibiri also said TIMB is aware that some individuals are going directly to farms, telling growers that the crop is selling at as low as US$ 0.50 per kg, and offering to buy tobacco for very low prices. Two people have been arrested in connection with such cases, Matibiri said.

Auction floor officials said some of the tobacco fell in the low-quality category because it was wet, badly packed or poorly sorted or cured. Felix Kudai, who sold his leaf at the Boka Auction Floors, said he received only US$ 200 per bale in the current season compared to around US$ 500 last year, adding the money is insufficient to meet even transport and labor costs. Growers at the Tobacco Sales Floor also complained of low prices, with one farmer saying that he had brought 40 bales to the floors but had decided to withhold sales because he was dissatisfied with the prices being offered (Zimbabwe Standard 3/17)