Zimbabwe expects to earn at least $1.6 billion from tobacco exports this season, reports The Herald. Since the start of the marketing season, the country has exported more than 210 million kg of tobacco worth more than $1 billion, more than two thirds of the crop.
Zimbabwe’s tobacco growers delivered nearly 300 million kg this year, which currently being processed, sorted and exported, a process that takes up to a full year.
The Far East is the largest destination for Zimbabwean leaf in terms of value. Other prominent destinations include the European Union and the Middle East.
As part of the government’s Tobacco Value Chain Transformation Plan, Zimbabwe aims to build a $5 billion tobacco industry by 2025, a target that looks increasingly realistic in light of the recent export figures.
“The vision for a $5 billion tobacco industry is quite achievable,” said Zimbabwe Farmers Union Secretary General Paul Zakariya. “As we inch towards that vision, we need to significantly increase local funding for tobacco production. This will allow for local value addition and import substitution of finished products. That is where real value is.”