The start of Zimbabwe’s 2020 tobacco marketing season will be delayed due to late rains, according to Patrick Devenish, chairman of the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB).
Last year, the marketing season commenced on March 21. Tobacco deliveries hit an all-time high of 259 million kg in 2019 but, at $2 per kg, average prices were the lowest in years.
As of Dec. 20, farmers had planted 81,977 hectares of tobacco against 79,708 hectares planted during the same period last year, according to TIMB data. Output for this year is estimated at 225 million kg.
Tobacco is one of the country’s top earners of foreign exchange, which is necessary for the importation of raw materials, fuel and pharmaceuticals among other products.