Having nearly achieved its targeted leaf volumes, Zimbabwe is shifting its emphasis to promoting exports of value added tobacco products, reports The Herald.
The Tobacco Value Chain Transformation Plan (TVCTP) aims to capture more value from the tobacco industry by producing larger crops and moving beyond leaf cultivation. Among other things, it calls on farmers to produce a tobacco crop of 300 million kg by 2025.
In the most recent market season, Zimbabwe sold more than 290 million kg of tobacco. The seedbed for the country’s 2023-2024 is 15.5 percent larger than in the previous season, making it likely that Zimbabwe will achieve its target volume ahead of schedule.
“There has been an increase in volume as a result of post-harvest loss reduction and yield increase,” said Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Jenfan Muswere following an Oct. 10 cabinet meeting. “During the 2022-2023 season a record 296.1 million kilograms of tobacco, worth $896 million was produced.
Satisfied with the progress made in increasing volumes, the sector is now turning its attention to value addition.
“There are opportunities to increase the level of value addition and beneficiation of tobacco into cut rag and cigarette production from 2 percent of tobacco produced to 30 percent,” said Muswere. “The construction of a new cigarette manufacturing plant and cut rag processing factories is underway and this will result in an increase in processing capacity by 50 percent in the first half of 2024.”