Tobacco Sales Have Generated US$65 Million

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Tobacco Sales Have Generated US$65 Million

The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) has said tobacco sales have generated more than US$65 million since the beginning of the marketing season. 

A total of 21.7 million kg of the golden leaf have been sold at an average price of US$3 per kg.

The highest price achieved to date is US$5.55 per kg, while the lowest price was US$0.10, according to The Sunday Mail.

The 2023 tobacco marketing season started on Wednesday 8 March and sales are expected to rise by 8.5 per cent to 230 million kilograms in 2023.

Early this month, TIMB attributed the growth to the good rains the country received including more farmers planting the crop.

Zimbabwe is one of the largest producers of tobacco in Africa, with the crop being a major source of foreign exchange earnings for the country.

The southern African nation aims to increase production to 300 million kg by 2025. Its output peaked at 261 million kg in 2019.

The government says the sector contributes nearly US$1 billion to export earnings every year, accounting for more than 12 per cent of exports in January 2023.

Tobacco land use grew to 117 000 hectares this year from 110 000 hectares in 2022, according to the TIMB. The industry also saw an increase in the number of tobacco farmers to 148 527 this year from 123 000 in 2022.

This comes as Mvurwi Town in Mashonaland Central, which serves one of the leading tobacco growing areas, is eyeing investors who are keen to add value to the crop.

The town which houses tobacco auction floors has embarked on a massive expansion drive, with new layout plans opening more land for thousands of stands, which will benefit civil servants and low-income earners.

Following the decentralisation of auction floors, Mvurwi now has seven auction floors, including one of the biggest, the Tobacco Sales Floor (TSF).

Tobacco farming in Zimbabwe is mainly done by smallholder farmers, although there are also large-scale commercial farmers who cultivate the crop.

The tobacco growing season in Zimbabwe runs from September to May, with the main tobacco auction season running from March to July.

The government of Zimbabwe has been actively promoting tobacco farming in the country, offering various incentives to farmers, such as loans, inputs, and technical support.

There are different organizations in Zimbabwe involved in regulating, representing, and supporting the tobacco industry.

1). The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) is a government regulatory body responsible for regulating and overseeing the production, marketing, and selling of tobacco.

2). The Zimbabwe Tobacco Association (ZTA) is an industry association that advocates for tobacco growers and promotes best practices in tobacco production.

3). The Zimbabwe Tobacco Growers Association (ZTGA) is a farmers’ association that represents tobacco growers and works to improve their livelihoods.

4). The Zimbabwe Leaf Tobacco Company (ZLTC) and 5), Alliance One Tobacco Zimbabwe (AOZ) are subsidiaries of major tobacco merchants that work with growers to ensure quality and sustainability in tobacco production, and provide support to improve their productivity and profitability.

The tobacco industry in Zimbabwe provides opportunities for farming, processing, exporting, research, and support services. 

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