NewsSouthern AfricaZimbabwe's tobacco farmers hit gold

Sun,19Nov2017

Posted on Wednesday, 25 June 2014 11:05

Zimbabwe's tobacco farmers hit gold

By Janet Shoko

File photo©ReutersZimbabwe's tobacco farming is on a rebound, with the sector set to produce more than 200 million kg, a third more than it did the previous year.

European countries have been snapping up Zimbabwe's tobacco, notably Belgium, which bought more than 8.4 million kg of the golden leaf worth $36.6 million.

Latest statistics from the government's Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) indicate that 199.09 million kg worth $632.7 million have been delivered since the beginning of the selling season in February.

This translates to 32.72 % more than the 150 million kg delivered during the same period last year.

The 2013-14 selling season ends on Friday.

Tobacco is one of the country's top foreign currency earners and accounts for a tenth of the country's Gross Domestic Product.

Stakeholders in the tobacco industry believe the increase in production bodes well for the country.

Last year's 150 million kg fetched $554,2 million at an average price of $3,69 per kg, which was, however, 13.97% higher than this year's average of $3,18 per kg.

TIMB, the United Arab Emirates is the second biggest buyer with 4.3m kg having been exported.

South Africa is third on 3.5m kg worth $12.6 million.

Other export destinations for the country's tobacco include Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Egypt, Montenegro and Russia.

TIMB said exports for 2014 went to 45 countries compared to the previous year, where there were 34 destinations.

Other export destinations for the country's tobacco include Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Egypt, Montenegro and Russia.

The resurgence in the sector is spurred by new farmers joining the tobacco sector since the adoption of the multi-currency system in 2009.

Figures indicate that there are currently 110,000 small-scale tobacco farmers compared to about 91 160, who had registered by the same period last year of which 39.5% are women.

The majority of those are under contract farming and this has seen many foreign companies, enter into farming deals with local growers who cannot afford inputs and others costs.



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