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Tobacco industry maintains resilience; over 217 million kilogrammes of tobacco sold

Story by Stanley James, Business Editor

Zimbabwe’s tobacco industry is maintaining resilience in the face of El Nino-induced drought as over 215 million kilogrammes of the golden leaf have so far been sold, raking in US$748 million.          

Statistics from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) indicate that over US$748 million has been realised from tobacco sales since the beginning of this year’s tobacco marketing season.

Although the figure is lower than the US$848 million raked in during the same period last year, growers have been commended for their commitment towards continuous investments in the crop.            
         
“The sector is, however, defying odds because if you look at the negative effects of the drought and what has been delivered, it denotes resilience on the part of the farmers in facilitating growth and deliveries,” said TIMB’s public affairs officer, Mrs Chelesani Tsarwe.
  
The golden leaf for this year is therefore anticipated to reach at least 240 million kilogrammes from over 280 million kilogrammes in light of the drought shocks, with the focus being on the upcoming 2024/25 summer cropping season.    

Tobacco grower, Mr Edward Dune said, “It is incumbent upon us to aggressively focus on the need to increase returns to the growers by ensuring that inputs are distributed on time with the key focus being on the need to address challenges facing the farmers otherwise we are optimistic about the future.”
  
Overally, the TIMB statistics show that China is the biggest buyer of Zimbabwe’s golden leaf.   

According to the Central Bank, tobacco is among the country’s top five foreign currency-earning commodities for Zimbabwe.

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