Tobacco Commission Reviewing Sales Measures To Accommodate More Growers

The Tobacco Commission is in discussion with stakeholders in the tobacco industry to review some of sales procedures to accommodate more growers on the floors.

At the start of the sales season this year, players in the industry agreed to limit the numbers of people patronizing the floors in keeping with coronavirus preventive measures.

For the growers, it was agreed that their representatives would be the ones on the floors.

But to ensure that growers around the country are assured of transparency at the floors, the Commission is discussing with industry players to consider more involvement of growers.

“There are concerns that with the non-availability of growers to witness their sales there could be a possibility of the sales being negatively affected.

“This could not be true because the way tobacco sales operate there’s no direct dealings between the buyer and the grower,” said TC Chief Executive Officer Kayisi Sadala.

He however assured that the Commission is working on reviewing the measures to ensure that growers’ interests are fully met.

The Commission is consulting industry stakeholders and will soon make a pronouncement on the matter.

He added: “The Commission has a responsibility to ensure that the grower interests are duly protected during the marketing of their tobacco. The measures are at constant review.”

Sadala underlined however that any considerations will be conditional on ensuring that there is no compromise on Covid-19 prevention measures instituted by Government.

The tobacco sales opened four weeks ago and has so far registered better prices than 2019, averaging US$1.53 per kilogramme.

This is 13% higher than 2019 over the same period.

And close to 18 million kilogrammes have been sold, earning the country about K20 billion within these four weeks.

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