The Sunday News
Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday News Reporter
SALES on the country’s tobacco auction floors have so far racked in US$415.8 million, compared to the US$296.9 million realised last year, while 240 204 metric tonnes have been delivered to the Grain Marketing Board, up from the 63 916 metric tonnes received at the same time last year.
Zimbabwe is enjoying the fruits of a good agricultural season after bountiful downpours were experienced around the country following a few years of below average rainfall. In a post-Cabinet briefing yesterday Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa told the media that 152.8 million metric tons of the golden leaf had so far been sold during the Tobacco Marketing Season.
“The Tobacco Marketing Season has also recorded good results, with a total of over 152.8 million metric tonnes having been sold to realize more than US$415.8 million, compared to the 124.5 million metric tonnes sold for US$296.9 million in 2020. The country’s average prices at US$2.72 per kg remain firmer than those prevailing in the region. On cotton, it is advised that 145 090 109 metric tonnes are expected to be delivered from the established 287 107 hectares during the current marketing season,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said winter wheat planting had also been ramped up, with a 53% increase on the area planted in comparison to the same time last year.
“Regarding the winter wheat production season, Cabinet wishes to highlight that a total of 61 801 hectares have so far been planted, a 53% increase from the area planted during the comparative 2020 period. A total of 4 467,9 hectares have been planted under the Presidential Wheat Scheme, while the Command/CBZ Agro-yield Scheme has planted 41 935,7 hectares this year, an increase of 25 percent from the 33 603 hectares area planted last year. The Private Sector has contracted 15 397,76 hectares, 3 percent above the targeted 15 000 hectares,” she said.
Grain deliveries to the GMB had also significantly improved, Minister Mutsvangwa said.
“Meanwhile, as of yesterday (21st June, 2021), total maize delivered to Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depots across the country stood at 240 204 metric tonnes, significantly up from the 63 916 metric tonnes received at the same time last year. The quantity of soyabean has similarly increased to 9 858 metric tonnes, versus the 956 metric tonnes delivered at the same time last year. The traditional grain tonnage delivered has recorded a phenomenal increase to 21 844 metric tonnes from the 1 646 metric tonnes delivered during the 2020 comparative period. Government takes this opportunity to call upon farmers to continue delivering their grain to GMB depots as timeous payments are guaranteed,” she said.