By Alois Vinga
TOBACCO Sales Floor (TSF) has so far recorded a 1,2 million kgs decline compared to a similar period last year in a development calling for strategic farming practices to bridge the gap.
The sector’s experts have since projected that overall output for the year will be lower when compared to yesteryear owing to a bad rainy season during the 2021/22 farming season.
Presenting a trading update for the period ended July 31 2022, TSF company secretary, Fadzayi Pedzisayi confirmed processing reduced quantities of the golden leaf.
“Cumulatively handled 23,1 million kgs of tobacco against 24,3 million kgs in the previous year, a 5% decline. However, the strategy to serve the much larger contracted tobacco market is yielding fruit, with 62% of the total volumes handled coming from this segment,” she said.
Market watchers however believe that there is need for the employment of advanced mechanisation to ease the golden leaf declines.
Meanwhile, during the period, Pedzisayi reported that the business successfully opened a new floor in Mvurwi and the volumes therefrom were pleasing. This complements the business’ decentralised operations in Karoi, Marondera and Harare.
TSF’s unit Propak hessian volumes were 15% below prior year owing to a reduced national crop and a change in the timing of collection of packaging materials by merchants.
Product lines performed better than the previous year on the back of product availability and competitive pricing, other product lines were not available as a result of inordinately long lead times as a result of global supply chain disruptions.
Agricura’s performance for the quarter was mixed with some product lines performing better than the previous year on the back of product availability and competitive pricing, other product lines were not available as a result of inordinately long lead times as a result of global supply chain disruptions.
In the farming operations, better yields were achieved compared to the previous year on tobacco, seed maize, soya bean and commercial maize. The improved water and weather conditions resulted in banana plantation production growing by 50%.