Zimbabwe has so far raked in US$23,3 million from the sale of 9,5 million kg of tobacco in five days, a 152 percent improvement compared with last year's US$9,2 million from 3,9 million kg, statistics released by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) show.

An estimated 90 percent of the tobacco delivered came from the contract crop, with just 10 percent being sold on the auction floors.

Buyers offered a highest price of US$6,30 per kg at the contract floors, while the highest price at the auction floors remained at US$4,99 per kg.

In the same period last year, tobacco generated US$9,2 million from the sale of 3,9 million kg.

At this stage, 133 408 bales have been laid and 129 704 sold as compared with 54 060 laid during the corresponding period last year, with 52 705 bales sold during the same period last year.

The majority of farmers in the country are currently producing tobacco under contract farming.

The contract farming arrangement sees tobacco farmers being guaranteed a timely supply of inputs and, in some cases, funds to pay workers.

The farmers are given technical advice because the contractors want their crop grown according to market requirements.

Last year, production of the golden leaf reached 184 million kg. And this year TIMB has projected that production could reach 200 million kg due to the positive rainfalls.

The Herald.