Zimbabwe wants to create a $5 billion tobacco industry by 2025, reports Bulawayo24, citing Agriculture Minister Anxious Jongwe Masuka.
Speaking at the opening of the Zimbabwe tobacco marketing season on April 7 in Harare, Masuka told stakeholders that the government would increase funding of both large-scale and small-scale tobacco farmers to increase output.
Masuka said agriculture remained one of the key sectors in the quest to transform the country into an upper-middle-class economy.
According to the minister, plans are underway to increase tobacco production to 300 million kg per year.
The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board expects sales of about 200 million kg this year, up from 184 million kg in the previous season, due to favorable rains.
Tobacco merchants expect to spend around $500 million on Zimbabwean tobacco this year, generating much-needed foreign currency for the country.
The industry is also one of the largest employers in a country suffering from widespread unemployment, despite vast agricultural and mineral resources.
The global tobacco market size was valued at nearly $850 billion in 2019.