Farmer's Voice

Leaf Tobacco Earnings Up in Zimbabwe Due To Purchases By Chinese Buyers

Zimbabwe's leaf tobacco export earnings increased 11% y-y to US$ 855 million in 2015 as sales volume increased 12% to 152 million kgs, with cigarette makers in China buying 62 million kgs for US$ 513 million or 60% of total earnings, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board said. Chinese leaf buyers paid US$ 8.31 per kg on average, more than double the amount paid by other major buyers. Other buyers of Zimbabwe's flue-cured tobacco include Belgium, South Africa and Indonesia. TIMB's general manager Andrew Matibiri said the prolonged dry and hot weather conditions delayed transplanting. TIMB is assessing the current crop, the harvesting of which will begin in March. Zimbabwe's total tobacco production declined 8.5% to 189 million kgs in 2015. Output could be lower this year because of the El Nino-induced drought (Reuters 1/20).

TIMB Says Number Of Registered Growers Down 20% This Season

Statistics released by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) of Zimbabwe showed that the number of farmers who registered to cultivate tobacco in the 2015-16 season declined by 20% year-year to 70,412, while tobacco hectarage dropped to 89,559 hectares from 93,419 hectares in the previous season. The figures showed that only 9,025 new farmers registered to cultivate tobacco this season compared to 16,516 farmers during the same period last year. According to TIMB, 33,722 communal farmers, 25,486 A1 farmers, 5,865 A2 farmers and 5,339 small-scale farmers registered for the 2015-16 season. Mashonaland West reported the maximum number of registrations at 27,201, followed by Mashonaland Central at 24,993, Mashonaland East at 9,015, Manicaland at 8,771, Midlands at 295, Masvingo at 132 and Matabeleland, where only five farmers registered (Herald - Harare 1/18).