Tobacco records highest output in 14 years

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TOBACCO production has surpassed the 210 million kg mark for the first time in 14 years as the rebound in output continues, driven by small-scale farmers.

TARISAI MANDIZHA

The last time output surpassed 210 million kg was in 2000 when it reached 227 726 000kg.

By Tuesday, 210 598 690kg had gone under the hammer at the country’s three auction floors — Boka, Premier and TSF — raking in $668 002 625.

During the same period last year, 159 852 776kg had been sold valued at $590 116 320.

Most of the tobacco has been brought under the contract system, which is accounting for more than 50% of the delivered crop piling pressure on auctions whose survival is now under threat.
In May, auction floors told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Mechanisation that the absence of funding from banks means that farmers have to go under contract thereby killing the auction floors.
“Banks stopped funding farmers and it is contractors that fund them, which kills business at auction floors,” Premier Tobacco Floors managing director Philemon Mangena told the committee.
Tuesday was the day for mop up sales following the closure of the marketing season on June 27.
Tobacco has become the preferred crop among farmers due to the good returns unlike other crops such as maize and cotton.
This has seen an increase in the number of growers.
TIMB statistics showed that 106 456 growers have so far registered compared to about 91 278 registered during the same period last year.
Out of the registered growers are new ones with Mashonaland West registering 11 713 growers, Mashonaland Central 8 231 growers, Manicaland (5 465), Mashonaland East (4 135), Midlands (338), Masvingo (265) and Matabeleland had the least number of registered growers with five.

7 COMMENTS

  1. It’s a done deal. Whoever and wherever the doubting Thomases we are there where it took the white man 110 years to achieve!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Who said blacks cannot reach the level of tobacco production of former white farmers. If maizre was also profitable , our grain sillos would be full every yr!

  3. This could have been achieved earlier were it not for the capital starvation from the west&company in the form of sanctions…Truth is this has been done in the 5 years since 2009 when farmers were able to access hard currency&inputs from contractors(mainly chinese by the way) so the sky is the limit…Even Maize crop we are producing at levels that the so called expert commercial farmers were bragging about in 1997…So the naysayers may continue bleating isu tichingovhaya

  4. The game here is capitalism. Dont celebrate yet until you own the means of production. Who do yu think own those contractng co? Those very whites yu chased away frm the farms r stil running the show.They even boast that they r now producing more tobacco without having to be bothered with all the day to day running thats needed to run a farm. All they do is give jst enough inputs to insure yu produce jst enough to beg frm them again next season.Food for thought.

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