Decentralisation of Tobacco Auction Floors Bring Joy to Mash Central Farmers
Mako Jerera and Yvonne Mutambwa
Tobacco farmers in Mashonaland Central have applauded the government for bringing the tobacco market close to their homes as Mvurwi Tobacco Auction floors continue to make an impact in the region.
The auction floor which caters for Mt Darwin, Muzarabani, Mazowe, Chiweshe, Mvurwi, Centenary, Guruve and parts of Mutorashanga has reduced transport costs by over 100 km per trip.
At Voedsel Tobacco International’s sales floor, a kilogram is fetching as much as $US 5.40 per kg.
Most farmers commended the presence of the Tobacco Industries and Marketing Board.
Mr Chaurika of Mukwenya in Guruve was excited at the prices that were being offered at Voedsel Tobacco International sales floor.
“The prices were good enough to make the farmer return to the field the coming season. Some of the tobacco fetched as much as $5.40 per kg,” he said.
Besides selling tobacco at favourable prices, the availability of several banks at the auction floors has made it easy for tobacco farmers to access their cash on time.
When the tobacco auction floors were centralised in Harare, some farmers used to lose their hard-earned cash to thieves and crooks.
In addition, farmers used to spend several days waiting for their turn to sell their tobacco due to the increased number of farmers.
Tobacco transporters in the province are making a killing by making more trips to the sales floor compared to what they used to make when the floors were in Harare.
It is also a hive of activity for different vendors in Mvurwi.
In addition, locals have been employed by the different auction floors in different categories.
Given the quality and amount of tobacco being delivered to the sales floor each day, tobacco farming is on the right track towards the achievement of NDS 1 and Vision 2030 for most farmers in Mashonaland Central.