via More Farmers Growing Tobacco in Dry Regions 28.11.2013 by Sithandekile Mhlanga VOAZimbabwe
Latest figures released by the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) show that tobacco production has increased in non-traditional growing regions such as the two Matabeleland provinces, Midlands and Masvingo, which may help boost the country’s production.
According to the TIMB, registered farmers for the crop in Midlands increased from 171 to 484 growers from last year while Masvingo registered 435 from 134 growers within the same period.
Matabeleland North and South increased by only two growers, bringing the number of registered growers to eight in both provinces.
The growing interest by farmers from these dry regions is attributed to lucrative prices for the crop.
So far, the tobacco industry marketing board says it has registered 84,070 growers in the country, an increase from 62,743.
However, movement for democratic change shadow minister for agriculture Sam Siphepha Nkomo tells V-O-A’S Sithandekile Mhlanga says the country should focus mostly on maize production because of high costs of importing food.