Reflecting on mixed season

    As 2019 ends, the Zimbabwean tobacco industry looks back on a year of mixed fortunes, reports The Herald.

    The sector produced a record 259 million kg of leaf during the season, generating US$529 million in export revenues.

    But farmers struggled with payments, power cuts and fuel shortages, among other challenges.

    The 2019 tobacco crop also suffered from late rains and prolonged dry spells, especially when the crop was almost ready for reaping.

    During the first days of the season some farmers withdrew their bales in protest of the low prices on offer.

    As of Dec. 19., Tobacco Industry & Marketing Board (TIMB) statistics showed a decline of 16 percent in farmer registrations for the 2019-2020 season.

    TIMB said the decline in figures was transitory and more farmers would likely register as they plant their crops in the fields.