• April 17, 2024

Zimbabwe Prepares for Marketing Season

 Zimbabwe Prepares for Marketing Season
Image: Taco Tuinstra

Zimbabwe’s tobacco growers are preparing for the 2024 marketing season, set to begin in March, reports Xinhua News.

Farmers remain hopeful for a successful season despite unfavorable weather patterns that affected some crops—late onset of rains and severe hailstorms in some areas.

This year’s projection is 250 million kg of tobacco due to the dry spell compared to last year’s record high of 296 million kg, according to Chelesani Tsarwe, public affairs officer of the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB). By 2025, the government aims to increase production to 300 million kg per year.

Tobacco auction floors will open March 13, according to the TIMB. Contract floors will open March 14. 

Favorable pricing will be crucial for farmers to cover costs, especially for small-scale farmers, who make up over 80 percent of the country’s tobacco farmers, according to George Seremwe, president of the Zimbabwe Tobacco Growers Association.

Tobacco is a major foreign currency earner in the country.

“We think it will be very important for the government and the stakeholders to work on value addition, that is, value addition locally; with that, probably, we hope that the profits will also be shared among farmers,” said Seremwe.