Voedsel is targeting to rake in US$75M from tobacco sales. The projections have been informed by the good rains received in various parts of the country. These have since brightened prospects of improved tobacco yields for many farmers.
The Marondera-based tobacco auction floor is anticipating brisk business during this year’s tobacco selling season. According to media reports, the company is expecting 25m kilograms to go under the hammer at their auction floors this year from their 24 000 contracted farmers scattered across the country.
“With average auction sales of between US$2,70 to US$3 per kg, we are very much confident of reaching our projected targets this year, given the good rains received in the country so far,” said Mr Hwandi, the company’s operations manager.
He further revealed that the stability of the local currency will enhance the value of farmers’ earnings. “The prices of major inputs such as fertilizer were stable this year which made it easier for our farmers to access the commodity without hassles,” he said.
Hwandi said preparations for the forthcoming tobacco season were now at an advanced stage. With some farmers already reaping their crop, the company said it was already disbursing funds to their contracted farmers to enable them to meet their labour costs.
Small-scale farmers are getting between US$150 to US$600, while commercial farmers are getting as much as they require from the company, which they will repay after selling their crop. Keen on improving earnings for their farmers, Voedsel ensures that the farmers are empowered to avoid the incurring of debts.
Voedsel has been involved in the tobacco value chain through contracting small-scale farmers in various provinces such as Mashonaland East, Manicaland and Mashonaland West. Tobacco is a major cash-cow for Zimbabwe and it generates an average of US $1B annually, helping the country to import fuel, pharmaceuticals and other key industrial raw materials.