Tobacco Earns Zim $500m

The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) announced Thursday that the country sold 140 million kgs of flue cured tobacco across the country, 10 million more kgs from last year’s 128 million kgs.

“We are very, very satisfied with the output this year, which could have been better had it not been of the drought,” Andrew Matibhiri, TIMB chief executive officer said.

At peak, before the disastrous land reforms, Zimbabwe produced 220 million kgs, the highest the country has reaped over the years.

Agriculture production which used to be backbone of the economy after mining declined heavily in all crops that include maize, cotton and tobacco as new black farmers who took over land failed to produce due to lack of farming expertise.

Tobacco farming is mainly being done by small scale farmers who have been planting the golden leaf attracted by the huge returns associated with the crop as other crops such as maize are no longer viable.