Farmers expect quality tobacco crop

By ZBC Reporter
THE TOBACCO industry is optimistic of a good harvest as most farmers have produced high-quality crop despite the dry spell which hit the country this season.
The rains which have been received in various parts of the country have brought relief to farmers as the bulk of their crop which was affected by the dry spell is now showing signs of recovery.
A survey by Zbc at some farms shows that farmers with irrigated and dry land tobacco have produced high-quality golden leaf despite the dry weather conditions which hit the country in the first half of the season.
“We were a bit worried in the first half but most farmers with irrigation have produced a good crop, and we expect high better yields this season,” said Edson Makina a tobacco farmer in Seke district,” said Edson Makina, a tobacco farmer.
Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board Chairperson, Patrick Devenish says prospects are high for a good harvest in the tobacco industry.
“The irrigated crop has done well. This might be the worst drought since 1992 but for the tobacco industry we expect high-quality crop not much difference from last year,” said Devenish. Most farmers are now reaping and curing their tobacco in readiness for the auction floors and expectations are high the golden leaf will rake in the much needed foreign currency for the country. Data from the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board show that as of December 2019, hectarage under tobacco grew by 2,8% to 81 977 hectares against 79 708 hectares planted the same period last year. However, the bulk of the crop is relying on rain-fed water. Tobacco 2019 total output grew to 259 million kg from 253 million kg in 2018.