Slight increase in flue-cured tobacco growers

THE tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) has registered a slight growth in the number of flue-cured tobacco growers for the 2015 season to 88 167 compared to about 86 006 who had registered by the same period last year.

Fidelity Mhlanga

TIMB said 32 236 of the growers were A1 farmers while 7 830 growers were A2 farmers.

Communal farmers and small scale commercial farmers stood at 40 869 and 6 908 growers respectively.

The TIMB report said about 26 growers who delivered tobacco in the 2014 marketing season had not registered for the current season as of January 2 2015.

According to the report, Mashonaland West province registered the highest number of new growers at 5798, followed by Mashonaland Central which had 4 565 new growers and Mashonaland East with 2 910 new growers.

Masvingo, Midlands and Matabeleland had 165 201 and 7 new growers respectively.

According to the 2015 national budget statement, flue cured tobacco output increased from 165, 85 million kgs in 2013 to 216 million kgs in 2014.

The rise in tobacco output was attributed to a 10,3% increase in the number of growers, from 78 756 in 2013 to 86 900 in 2014.
Correspondingly, hectarage rose by 21, 2% from 88 626 ha in 2013 to 107 371 ha in 2014

In terms of tobacco sales, a total of US$684,87 million was realised in 2014 at an average price of US$3, 17/kg compared to US$610, 31 million achieved, at US$3, 68/kg in 2013.

Last year 50 745 154 kgs valued at US$ 136 669 850 million was sold under auction at an average price of US$ 2,69 per kg.

On contract farming, 165 253 617 kgs worth US$548 200 219 million were delivered last year at an average price of US$3,32 per kg.

This year, with a targeted overall hectarage of 90 000 under the crop, tobacco output is projected at 222 million kgs.

The official date for the opening of the 2015 tobacco selling season remains uncertain but traditionally starts mid-February.


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