Agrobusiness - COVID-19 - Featured - Top Stories - July 15, 2021

Tobacco sales firmed by 12 pc

The 2021 tobacco marketing seasons officially closed yesterday and over US$500 mil was realised from tobacco sales.

180 million kilograms were auctioned leading to a 17 percent increase from last year.

Tobacco production makes an important contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and to export revenue, and plays a major role in the national economy.

According to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the  golden leaf normally accounts for more than 50 percent of agricultural exports, 30 percent of total exports and nearly 10 percent of GDP.

Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) Chief Executive Officer  Meanwell Gudu underscored that while there were some challenges this season, the ability of the auctions to hold sales under Covid-19 conditions reflect success.

The TIMB chief noted that there were a number of lessons learnt in relation to side marketing, capacitating farmers, technical skills and viable pricing models among other issues.

“Cumulative sales were over 180 million killogrammes which is 17 percent above last year, with prices being firmer than the previous year due to improved quality of the commodity,” he said.

Data from TIMB shows that prices of the golden leaf firmed by 12 percent compared to last year, with more than 500 million United States dollars being realised from tobacco sales.

While the selling season has come to an end, it is the contract sales that are still in business as they wind up trading by mid next month.

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