Tobacco crop plummets – NewsDay Zimbabwe

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Tobacco dryer. Harvested tobacco plants (Nicotiana tabacum)

BY TAPFUMANEI MUCHABAIWA
The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) has reported a significant drop in the current season’s tobacco yields due to low rainfall in most parts of the country.

TIMB said 30-day tobacco sales for this year were down 18.13% from the same period last year.

Some 5,837,475 kg of tobacco was sold, while 77,402,247 kg also came from contract sales, making a total of 83,239,721 kg of tobacco delivered to the floors, compared to 101,672,752 kg sold during the same period. last year.

“The value of tobacco sold is approximately US$247,789,777, which shows a sharp decline in sales. Average sales are $2.98 per kilogram, with approximately 1,095,661 bales sold,” the TIMB statement said.

TIMB spokesperson Chelesani Moyo said most rainfed tobacco growers have been affected by the poor start to the rainy season.

“Due to the late rains received this year, most tobacco farmers are still harvesting their crop, hence the drop in deliveries compared to deliveries received during the same period last year,” he said. Moyo said.

“About 95% of registered growers are under contract in Zimbabwe, with the rest being self-funded growers. This explains why we have more farmers in the contract floors than in the auction floors. »

Hurungwe farmer Tazvitya Mataurika said this year has been a turbulent tobacco growing season due to poor rains.

“We had a bad start to the rains. This added to our woes as farmers, because in addition to having inadequate inputs, the weather was not conducive. I produce more than three tons of tobacco a year, but this time I failed to produce even one ton,” Mataurika said.

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