More than 100 000 farmers have registered to grow tobacco in the 2017/18 farming season, a 36 percent increase from 73 492 in the previous season, statistics have shown. Tobacco farming used to be a preserve for white commercial farmers, but has fast became an attractive source of livelihood for many Zimbabwean small-scale and communal farmers.
Statistics from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) show that 25 852 farmers have registered to grow tobacco for the first time this year compared to 13 842 last year with the registration still going on.
Meanwhile the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) recently reviewed upwards the export incentive from 5 percent to 12.5 percent in order to boost the 2018 marketing season. In 2014, tobacco export earnings raked in $772,6 million, rising to $855 million in 2015.
It further grew to $933,3 million in last year and it is projected to grow to $980 million this year. China has remained the top destination for Zimbabwean tobacco, followed by South Africa, Belgium, United Arab Emirates and Indonesia. – New Ziana.