HARARE, September 1 (The Source) – More than 80, 000 farmers have registered to grow tobacco in the upcoming 2017/18 season up from 56,450 in the previous season, statistics from the industry regulator have shown.
Previously a preserve for commercial farmers tobacco is fast becoming an attractive source of livelihood for many of Zimbabwe’s small scale and communal farmers who have given up on crops such as cotton and maize.
Latest data from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) showed that 23,210 new farmers had registered to grow the crop compared to 10,869 last year. Registration is still on-going.
Auction sales were concluded on August 11 grossing $557 million from 188 million kg which was short of the 202 million kgs target.
Zimbabwe has so far exported 87.5 million kgs of tobacco earning the country $380,8 million up from $334,7 million last year.
The bulk of the tobacco was exported to China with the rest going to South Africa, Belgium, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Sudan and Russia.