• April 12, 2024

Zim Tobacco Earnings Surpass Last Year’s

 Zim Tobacco Earnings Surpass Last Year’s
Photo: Taco Tuinstra

Zimbabwean tobacco growers had sold 167 million of tobacco and earned $505 million by the end of June, reports The Herald, citing statistics from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board.

By comparison, in the entire 2021 marketing season, farmers pocketed $504 million from the sale of 183 million kg.

While this year’s volumes are lower than in 2021, the higher quality has been commanding better prices, according to experts.

The average price for this year is $3.02 per kg while that of last season was $2.76 per kg. The lion’s share of Zimbabwean tobacco is sold under a contract system. Only 5 percent of farmers are sufficiently solvent to borrow from banks or fund their own operations.

Tobacco is a key crop for Zimbabwe, with exports and supporting activities contributing earnings of more than $1.2 billion annually.

Eager to capture more value from the golden leaf, the government aims to transform the business into a $5 billion industry by 2025. Its Tobacco Value Chain Transformation plan calls for increasing primary production to 300 million kg by 2025 and localizing financing for smallholder farmers, among other initiatives.