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Monday, May 27, 2024

Govt targets tobacco industry transformation

Story by Oleen Ndori

THE government has set a target to grow the tobacco industry into a US$5 billion industry by 2025.

This comes as the country’s agricultural sector has in the recent past experienced exponential growth as government seeks to grow the economy using natural resources.

Presenting this week’s post-cabinet media briefing in Harare this Tuesday, the Minister of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services, Dr Jenfan Muswere unpacked the Tobacco Transformation Plan aimed at transforming the agriculture sub-sector into a five billion United States dollar industry.

“The Plan seeks to increase tobacco production to 300 million kg by 2025 and transform the industry into a US$5 billion industry through exports of tobacco value-added products. The nation is informed that there has been an increase in volume as a result of post-harvest loss reduction and yield increase.

“During the 2022/23 season a record 296.1 million kilogrammes of tobacco, worth US$896 million was produced. Of this production, A1 and A2 farmers contributed 153 320 472 kg and US$480 548 375 of total production, being 52% and 54% of the value respectively, attesting to the success of the Land Reform Programme,” said Dr Muswere.

Dr Muswere also briefed the nation regarding the cholera outbreak and the response mechanism put in place to curb the spread of the disease in Harare and Manicaland Provinces.

“Cabinet advises that as of 30th September 2023, Zimbabwe’s cumulative suspected cholera cases were 4 436 with 4 246 recoveries. Manicaland Province and Harare Province contributed the highest number of cholera cases in Zimbabwe, having reported 1 934 (43.5%) and 1 627(36.7%) cumulative cholera cases respectively by 30 September 2023.

“Cabinet reports that medicines and commodities supply have been prepositioned in districts with resource mobilization ongoing from the national level as well as through provisional and district structures and donors have also chipped in.

“The nation is informed that active surveillance is ongoing at the ports of entry. Cabinet highlights that dissemination of information is being intensified to curb the spread of cholera. Furthermore, water quality monitoring of waste disposal and waste management is ongoing in provinces,” said Dr Muswere.

The nation was also briefed on the activities surrounding this year’s National Anti-Sanctions Day.

“The nation is being informed that the SADC Anti-Sanctions Day will be held on 25 October 2023 under the theme “Harnessing the Youth for Accelerated Socio-Economic Development in the Fight Against Sanctions”. The theme recognizes the youth’s resilience, courage, fortitude, and unflinching determination in the face of illegal sanctions. The youth have heeded His Excellency the President’s clarion call that “Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo,ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikhazi balo” and are playing a significant role in the development of the country.”

There was also an update on the mine disaster by the Acting Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Honourable Daniel Garwe.

This Tuesday’s cabinet also discussed the summer cropping season and the Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo which has seen 365 companies confirming attendance up from 275 last year.

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