A tobacco expert has said the higher demand for tobacco cannot help fetch better prices unless the leaf is well graded.
Agriculture Research and Extension Trust chief executive officer Andy Khumbanyiwa said this as the tobacco market at Kanengo Auction Floors is set to open mid this month.
“Farmers should properly grade their tobacco if the tobacco is to fetch higher prices,” he said.
Khumbanyiwa also said the tobacco should be free from non tobacco materials.
This year, there is 124 million kilograms of tobacco on the market against a demand of 151 million kilograms.
Tobacco Control Commission chief executive officer David Luka says the shortfall of 27 million kilograms might push the prices up as the demand will be higher than the supply.
“We expect high demand due to the shortfall which will benefit the farmer who is expected to have premium tobacco prices,” he said.
The Kanengo Auction Floors is expected to open on April 11.