TIMB statistics released recently showed that a total of 260 812 kilogrammes of burley have been sold compared to 25 646kg that were sold same period last year. This year, prices have declined as the leaf has been sold at an average price of US$1,31 per kilogramme while same period last year, buyers were offering US$2,62 per kilogramme.
Burley tobacco growers had been finding difficulties selling their crop during the tobacco-marketing period.
This was attributed to lack of cash on the part of processing companies. TIMB chief executive Dr Andrew Matibiri said some processing companies did not have the capacity to buy burley tobacco in bulk.
Meanwhile, 3 005 grammes of burley tobacco seed, equivalent to 500 hectares, have been sold so far as preparations for the next season continue in earnest.
Tobacco production has been on the increase for the past few years due to the attractive prices being offered on the market.