Zimbabwe expects tobacco production to increase by nearly six percent to 200 million kilogrammes this year from 189 million kg last year, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board said today.
Tobacco is Zimbabwe’s second biggest foreign currency earner after gold, earning the country $1.2 billion by December last year according to official data.
When the selling season started at the auction floors, the highest price was $4.99 per kg with the lowest at $1.34.
The contract sales will commence tomorrow.
Zimbabwe exports its tobacco mostly to China, South Africa, Belgium, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Sudan and Russia.
“Government appreciates the coming on board of the tobacco contracting companies where they financed 82 percent of the crop in the 2017/2018 agricultural season,” said acting President Constantino Chiwenga.
“I therefore wish to commend the contracting companies for providing this much needed support as it has enabled farmers to increase production and improve the quality of the golden leaf,” he said.
Chiwenga said government has extended the command agriculture programme to tobacco starting next season.
“I am elated to report that, government has extended the tobacco contract model to the same category as maize production programme, commonly known as ‘command agriculture’ which recently has been extended to cover wheat, soybeans, livestock, fisheries and wildlife production,” he said.
Zimbabwe currently exports 98 percent of all tobacco it produces, he added. – The Source