• April 18, 2024

Farmers flock to tobacco

 Farmers flock to tobacco

More than 10,000 new tobacco growers have registered with the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) as part of preparations for the 2017-18 tobacco season, according to a story in The Herald.

Figures from TIMB indicate that of the 47,299 farmers have registered to grow tobacco during the 2017-18 season, 10,789 are new growers.

As of June 21, the communal sector had accounted for the highest number of the new growers. Six thousand and ninety communal farmers had registered to grow the crop for the first time.

Meanwhile, the TIMB said that seed sales had increased by 93 percent year-on-year. So far, tobacco farmers had bought seed equivalent to 84,308 ha whereas, by the same stage of last year’s preparations, they had bought seed equivalent to 43,473 ha.

The Herald story said that tobacco production had been on the increase ‘for the past years because of an organized marketing system, higher prices and better payments modalities’.

But part of this seems at odds with previous official figures. According to these figures, average flue-cured tobacco prices in 2015 and 2016 were about the same, at US$2.94 per kg, but back in 2008, the average price was US$3.24 per kg.