At least 132.7 million kilograms of tobacco worth US$319.05 million have been sold so far at auction and contract floors in the country since the selling season opened, statistics from the industry regulator show.
In a trading update on day 50, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board said the sales were 19 percent higher than that in the last year, which stood at US$268.11 million. The average price at auction and contract floors was US$2.40 per kg, higher than US$1.83 in the same period of last year.
Tobacco is the southern African nation’s second largest foreign currency earner after gold. The golden leaf is arguably one of the success stories of agriculture in the post-land reform era. In 2019, the country sold 259 million kg of tobacco leaf worth more than US$500 million, up from 253 million kg in 2018.