Senior Business Reporter
TOBACCO buyer, Bullion Leaf Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd, has pledged to buy up to five million kilogrammes of tobacco this year and venture into contract sales to boost foreign currency earnings.
Last year, the agro-processing firm bought one million kg of tobacco. Speaking by telephone from Harare recently, Bullion Leaf Zimbabwe managing director Mr Persistence Gwanyanya said:
“This year because we have got a contract sales licence, we are going to do what is called contract sales. Those farmers that did not benefit under our input support scheme would be contracted to sale in our auction floors,” said Mr Gwanyanya.
He said the company’s target this year was to buy between three million and five million kg of tobacco.
“We expect the tobacco to be of high quality this year reading from what is happening on the ground. We also expect the tonnage to be higher compared to last year,” he said.
This year’s tobacco marketing season is expected to begin later this month with the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board having licensed 38 buyers so far compared to 32 last year.
Bullion Leaf Zimbabwe in 2018 received a $20 million facility from the Malaysian Fund for the procurement of tobacco from auction floors.
Mr Gwanyanya said resources from the Malaysian Fund were being disbursed in tranches over a five-year period.
The golden leaf is one of Zimbabwe’s largest foreign currency earners. Last year, Zimbabwe earned $892 million from 184,1 million kg exported to different parts of the world while in 2017 the country earned $904 million from 182, 4 million kg.