Zimbabwe tobacco farmers rake in US$774 million in sales

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At least 256.6milion kilogrammes of tobacco worth a cumulative US$774.4 million have been sold so far around the country’s auction and contract floors since the selling season opened in March, statistics from the industry regulator show.

During the same period in 2022, at least 165.4 million kg of tobacco worth $500.5 million had been sold.

Tobacco sold to date has already surpassed government’s set target of 230 million kilogrammes.

The quantum leap in the country’s most lucrative leaf has been attributed to good rains and an increase in the number of farmers who also planted the crop.

Last year, the country produced 212 million kilogrammes of tobacco.

Tobacco is the country’s second largest foreign currency earner after gold, making it arguably one of the success stories of agriculture in Zimbabwe’s post-land reform era.

In an update on day 66 of sales, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board said sales had gone up 54.72 percent from US$500.5 million recorded in the same period last year.

The average price for auction and contract floors stood at US$3.02 per kg.

The highest price stood at US$6.20 per kg while the lowest was at $0.10.

Rejected bales rose to 88,057 from 63,842 recorded in the same period last year.

Commenting on current tobacco deliveries, lands and agriculture permanent secretary John Basera said: “We have surpassed our 2022/23 target of 230million kilogrammes and are bound to break the all-time record of 259million kilogrammes.”

Sales are being conducted in Harare as well as five decentralised centres in Karoi, Mvurwi, Bindura, Marondera and Rusape.

About 98 percent of the total tobacco production was exported to countries like China and Belgium in raw form, according to statistics released by the government.

Source – zimlive