Zimbabwe’s tobacco hectarage declines 6.7 pct
HARARE: The hectarage put under both dry land and irrigated tobacco in Zimbabwe has declined by 6.7 percent in the 2023 to 2024 agricultural season compared to last year, primarily owing to the delayed onset of rains.
Farmers have planted 110,795 hectares of both dry land and irrigated tobacco, down from 118,795 a year earlier, according to statistics released by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) on Monday.
The decline was caused by the late onset of rains this season, which delayed planting of dry land tobacco throughout the country, said the TIMB.
Growers that have registered for the 2024 tobacco selling season set to start in March have also gone down to 112,939 from 147,794 last year.
At least 93 percent of the registered growers are contracted by private companies that fund production of the crop, the TIMB said.
Tobacco leaf is Zimbabwe’s second largest foreign currency earner after gold.