HARARE, Apr 25 – Zimbabwe’s contracted tobacco farmers commended Chinese firm, Tianze Tobacco Company, for its continued support of tobacco growing in the southern African country, which led to an increase in production output of the golden leaf this season, state radio reported on Tuesday.
Out of the 13 tobacco contracting companies which are operating this season in Zimbabwe, Tianze Tobacco Company, which contracts more than 250 growers, continues to lead in both the seasonal and daily average prices.
Farmers contracted to the company hailed the support they received, saying the inputs and financial support have boosted the production of the golden leaf tremendously.
“We applauded the way Tianze is operating as well as the favourable prices that it is offering, though we feel they should now increase their prices,” a tobacco farmer told ZBC News.
Tianze, which has to date bought more than 4.2 million kg of the leaf valued at 17.5 million U. S. dollars, is offering the highest seasonal average price of 4.14 dollars per kg and a daily average price of 4.61 dollars.
With an average price of 4.05 dollars, Northern Tobacco Company emerges as the second highest buyer, while Tribac, whose prices are pegged at 3.92 dollars, are the third.
The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) this season licensed 13 contract companies.
These companies partnered tobacco growers and assisted them with inputs and financial support among other things.
The contract system now accounts for 34.2 million kg of tobacco valued at 132 million dollars.