Tobacco board exports $1.6 million seed, eyes expansion

Tobacco board exports $1.6 million seed, eyes expansion

HARARE, June 28 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s Tobacco Research Board (TRB) exported barley tobacco seed worth $1.6 million in the 2016/7 season and plans to set up shop in regional markets to boost the numbers, an official has said.

TRB general manager Dalia Garwe told The Source that the board exports 1,5 tonnes of the barley tobacco seed variety annually.

“The TRB is responsible for breeding tobacco varieties for Zimbabwe and the region. Our barley tobacco variety is popular outside Zimbabwe and last year we exported $1.6 million worth of seed to Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, Uganda and Tanzania,” she said.

“We plan to set up selling points in those countries to boost those exports.”

Garwe said TRB currently produces over 50 tobacco varieties.

Zimbabwe requires 750 kilogrammes of tobacco seed annually and TRB has said it has five years’ worth of seed for the several tobacco varieties.

Five grammes of seed are enough to plant on one hectare of land.

Zimbabwe expects 215 million kg of flue-cured tobacco to go under the hammer during the 2017 selling season.