Tobacco farmers failed to meet this year’s target of 170million kg largely because of bad weather in the early stages of the growing season, agronomist and tobacco expert Mr Thomas Nherera said.The tobacco selling season closed early last month with the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) conducting clean up sales last week.
A total of 165 million kilogrammes of the golden leaf valued at $607,8 million went under the hammer this year against a projection of 170 million kg.
Mr Nherera told Business Chronicle yesterday that the targeted output had been missed because the tobacco crop was affected by water logging at the beginning of the rain season.
“We started the rain season under too wet conditions resulting in quite a sizeable of hectares put under the crop getting water logged and this reduced the yield per hectare. Also the season became too short and this affected the development of the crop,” he said.
He, however, said the target was missed by a narrow margin.
The tobacco sector has become one of Zimbabwe’s key sectors of the economy contributing significantly to export earnings.
More than 41,2 million kg of the golden leaf have been exported earning $163 million in exports.
Last year, Zimbabwe earned more than $750 million in tobacco exports receipts.
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