But the new floors have not been spared the congestion caused by unregistered farmers, a situation that has compelled the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board to temporarily suspend tobacco deliveries at all floors.
MT is operating from Msasa-based Farmers’ World Holdings premises on a 10-year lease agreement.
Although market speculation is rife that former Zimbabwe Industry Tobacco Auction Centre (Zitac) workers are involved in the running of the new floors, one of the people behind the auction floors, Zanu PF’s Muzarabani MP Edward Raradza dismissed the rumours as false.
Zitac was liquidated early this year after running into financial problems.
Former Zitac finance manager Richard Chabata is the CEO of the new floors. “Millennium Tobacco has got no association whatsoever with Zitac. It has an independent shareholding structure and operates professionally,” Raradza said.
“It is a new floor solely dedicated to serving tobacco farmers’ interests.”
MT chairperson Hillary Mo-mbeshora refused to discuss the company’s shareholding structure saying the matter was “very sensitive.”
He however expressed optimism that the new floor would provide up to standard services.
“The quality of tobacco that we have been receiving from farmers is excellent,” Mombeshora said.
“The prices on offer have remained consistent ever since the day we opened with the highest price on offer being US$4,50 per kg.”
Mombeshora said the new floors sold 2674 bales on the first day while anything between 2650 and 2700 bales had gone under the hammer by Thursday.