Tobacco earnings have slightly improved rising to US$10 million (about K6.7 billion) after three weeks of sales which were marred by poor prices and disputes between farmers and buyers.
The earnings from the country’s ‘green gold’ have improved from US$4 million realized in the second week of this year’s tobacco marketing season.
However, the revenue is still US$11.6 million less than the US$21.613 million realized during the same period last year.
Weeks ago a fracas erupted at Kanengo Auction Floors as buyers and farmers engaged in brawls over price disagreements. Buyers and farmers were involved in a scuffle over continued low tobacco prices.
Since the tobacco selling season was officially commissioned, farmers have been complaining of low prices which are as low as 82 cents.
Farmers and other stakeholders have described the low price issues as very unfortunate comparing to the obstacles farmers encounter when producing high quality tobacco.
Chief Executive Office Albert Changaya agreed with the farmers, saying the price situation is indeed worrisome and unwelcome.
Changaya added that apart from low pricing, another setback is that the tobacco rejection rate which is as higher as 52 %, a situation which is not fair at all.