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Tobacco export earnings reach over US$1.2 billion

Tobacco export earnings reach over US$1.2 billion

Story by Stanley James, Business Editor

Zimbabwe is reaping the benefits of increased smallholder growers in the tobacco value chain after the golden leaf raked in more than US$1.2 billion from export receipts this year.

Presenting an overview of the tobacco industry 2023 performance over the weekend, Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) chairperson, Mr Pat Davenish revealed that there had been an increase in production volumes, including export earnings.

The TIMB chairperson noted that the rise in overall production performance is being driven by government interventions on financing and capacity building to smallholder growers.

“Well the volumes have been pretty good as you know they stood at 296 million kilogrammes and the revenues have been very good. We have already surpassed US$1,2 billion in revenue and we expect that by the time the crop is finally fully exported, we can pass the US$1,5 billion mark,” he said.

The golden leaf is expected to play a key role in overall socio-economic development next year.

He added, “Well I don’t think that the tobacco industry is driving the economy but it certainly makes a significant contribution, I think what is important is the amount of growers we have experienced, these rains that have come in the last week have been very good for us all because they have accelerated the planting process of the crop”.

The TIMB revealed that China and the Far East dominated the bulk of the commodity’s exports, including the European Union, the Middle East and the Americas.

Zimbabwe is targeting to transform tobacco value chains into a US$5 billion industry by 2025 through exports of value-added products.

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