By Alois Vinga
The TOBACCO Sales Floor (TSF) has so far seen a drop of 1.2 million kg from a similar period last year in a development calling for strategic farming practices to close the gap.
Industry experts have since forecast that overall production for the year will be lower than yesterday due to a poor rainy season during the 2021/22 agricultural season.
Providing a business update for the period ended July 31, 2022, TSF Company Secretary Fadzayi Pedzisayi confirmed the processing of reduced quantities of gold leaf.
“In total, 23.1 million kg of tobacco were handled compared to 24.3 million kg the previous year, a decrease of 5%. However, the strategy to serve the much larger contract tobacco market is paying off, with 62% of total volumes handled coming from this segment,” she said.
Market watchers, however, believe there is a need to use advanced mechanization to mitigate the decline of gold leaf.
Meanwhile, during the period, Pedzisayi reported that the company had successfully opened a new floor in Mvurwi and that volumes were satisfactory. This complements the company’s decentralized operations in Karoi, Marondera and Harare.
The TSF unit’s Propak burlap volumes were 15% lower than the previous year due to a reduced domestic harvest and a change in the timing of merchants’ collection of packaging materials.
Product lines performed better than the previous year thanks to product availability and competitive pricing, other product lines were not available due to excessively long delivery times due to chain disruptions global supply.
Agricura’s performance for the quarter was mixed, with some product lines performing better than the prior year due to product availability and competitive pricing, other product lines were not available in due to excessively long delivery times due to global supply chain disruptions.
On farms, better yields were obtained compared to the previous year on tobacco, corn seeds, soybeans and commercial corn. Improved water and weather conditions led to a 50% increase in production from banana plantations.