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Tobacco selling season kicks off at US$4,92 per kg  |


By Alois Vinga


THE 2024 Tobacco selling season kicked off Wednesday at a selling price of US$4,92 per kg marking a significant increase from last year’s opening mark.

The seasoned opened with the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) indicating that total yield is expected to fall by at least 10% to 265 million kg in 2024 from a whopping 296 million kgs recorded last year owing to the El Nino-induced drought.

The area of tobacco cultivated has declined 3% to 113,000 hectares in the current season, from 117,000 hectares last year due to drought.

In 2023, Zimbabwean tobacco farmers produced 294 million kg. This was Zimbabwe’s biggest ever crop. But this year, output is expected to fall to below 265m kg due to the drought.

Hectares with planted tobacco fell to 113,101ha this season from 117,645ha last year.

The number of growers dropped by 22% to 115,114. 70% of tobacco growers are small-scale farmers.

Officially opening the event, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga implored the crop’s value chain players to prioritise value addition.

“We have exported enough of our leaf, we must now beneficiate it here. We must not only end at growing but beneficiation,” he said.

 



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