Prices are currently pegged below US$3 per kilogram compared to the average price of US$3.20 offered last year owing to the impact of the global financial crisis. The economic recession has already resulted in lower demand for Africa’s exports and a sharp decline in commodity prices, he said.
According to Matibiri, this years process was running smoothly, unlike the previous years were farmers ended up side-marketing their crops to black market buyers.
At least 42 million kg are expected to go under the hammer at the auction floors, with more than 75 per cent of the total 2009 crop to be sold through the contract system.
Most contract growers last season failed to deliver inputs on time resulting in the significant decline in output.
Tobacco has remained one of the countrys largest foreign currency earners and has witnessed a significant increase in the number of small holder farmers.Post published in: Economy