Zim expects 200 million kg of tobacco

24 Apr, 2019 - 00:04 0 Views
Zim expects 200 million kg  of tobacco Tobacco

The Herald

Zimbabwe’s tobacco output is  expected to decline to 200 million kilogrammes this year owing to  unfavourable weather conditions under which the crop was grown, the  industry regulator has said.

Last year, the country produced an all-time high of 252 million  kilogrammes of tobacco, earning at least a billion dollars in revenue.

The tobacco being sold this year was grown under grim weather  conditions characterised by late rains and prolonged dry spells,  particularly when the crop was almost ready for harvesting, prompting  authorities to review projections downwards.

Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board chairperson Monica Chinamasa, told  New Ziana that prospects of a higher output this year compared to the  previous one were slim due to drought.

“It is hard to tell how much tobacco we are expecting. We do not even  want to guess. We are just praying that at least we get to 200 million  kilogrammes (of tobacco),” she said.

Mrs Chinamasa described the 2018/19 cropping season as “challenging”.

“It has been a very difficult season, especially for small-scale  growers; those farmers who are bringing tobacco are those with  irrigation facilities like water bodies on their farms and have  irrigation equipment.

“The rest of the dry land crop, with the way it has been hot, the heat  damages tobacco. It has been a very bad season for us . . . ” she said.

Tobacco is the country’s second biggest foreign currency earner, after minerals, though the bulk of the crop is exported in its raw form with  the exports generating in excess of US$1 billion annually.

Tobacco, once a preserve for white commercial farmers, is arguably one  of the success stories of agriculture in the post land reform era. – New Ziana.

Share This:

Sponsored Links