KUTSAGA, formerly Tobacco Research Board, has approved new tobacco agrochemicals as it ramps up efforts to support farmers to produce high-quality crops acceptable on the global markets.
In a notice to all tobacco growers, contractors, merchants and agrochemical companies yesterday, Kutsaga said the new agrochemicals would boost the quality of tobacco.
“As over 90% of the Zimbabwean tobacco crop is exported, the tobacco must meet stringent international agrochemical regulations for international acceptance and maintenance of markets especially in an increasingly competitive global market,” Kutsaga said.
“Furthermore, compliance with global health standards, correct and safe use of crop protection agents as well as good agronomic practices in tobacco production is key to sustainable agriculture.”
Kutsaga also announced that a number of agrochemicals have been withdrawn from use on tobacco, due to safety concerns.
The organisation celebrated record-breaking achievement in tobacco output in the 109-year history of commercial tobacco production in Zimbabwe with an output of 294 million kilogrammes.
This record-breaking tobacco output statistic is consistent with the Tobacco Value Chain Transformation Plan.
Kutsaga said it will continue working tirelessly to ensure that tobacco growers and all farmers have access to high yielding, superior quality and multi-disease resistant genetics.
- Addressing unfair trade key to transforming African food systems
- Urgent economic structural transformation necessary
- Residents finger ZETDC employees in cables theft
- New perspectives: Building capacity of agricultural players in Zim
Tobacco, which is ranked second to gold in terms of export revenue, reached US$891 million as of August 2, 2023, up 42,92% compared to the same period last year, according to data from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board.
Zimbabwe exported tobacco worth US$968 million last year, up from US$575 million the year before.
A total of 19,9 million kilogrammes were sold at auction floors and over 274 million kilogrammes were sold via contract, giving a cumulative figure of 294 million, which is 42,29% up on the prior season.
By 2025, Zimbabwe hopes to produce 300 million kg of tobacco, raise value addition and beneficiation to around 30% through the manufacture of cigarettes, and develop the industry to US$5 billion under the Tobacco Value Chain Transformation Strategy.