Thursday, October 11, 2012

(STICKY) (NEWZIMBABWE) TIMB: 20,000 new farmers to grow tobacco

COMMENT - Land reform is in full effect, and benefiting millions of people.

(NEWZIMBABWE) TIMB: 20,000 new farmers to grow tobacco
11/10/2012 00:00:00
by NewZiana

THE Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board says 50,418 farmers have so far registered to grow the golden leaf in the 2013 season, up from 25,466 farmers during the same period last year.

The figures show that at least 20,000 new farmers have been joined the tobacco sector for this season.

According to the data, the majority of tobacco farmers, at 21,865 are small-holder production (A1) farmers followed by nearly 20,000 communal farmers.

Nearly 5,000 small scale farmers have been registered while 3,730 commercial farm (A2) farmers have so far expressed interest in growing the crop.

In terms of seed sales, the figures show that over 8,100 kilogrammes of flue cured tobacco have been sold, up 25 percent compared to the same period last year.
The seeds will cover an estimated 135,623 hectares.

The data from the tobacco industry regulator shows that more farmers are turning to the golden leaf as it is more lucrative, with its marketing through the auction system or contract, better organised compared to other crops.

Analysts have since expressed concern that increasing interest in the golden leaf will affect production of other crops such as maize.

Tobacco production went up nine percent to 144.5 million kilogrammes in the 2012 marketing season which closed on Sept 28.

The crop was sold at a seasonal average price of US$3.65, a price which was 34 percent higher than the previous season.

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