Tobacco crop dwindles

ZIMBABWE's tobacco yield is set to dwindle by 41 percent  due to unfavorable weather and a lack of fertilizers, the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association (ZTA) has said.

ZTA president, Andrew Ferreira, said the southern African nation may produce as much as 70 million kilograms of the leaf, compared with 120 million kilograms predicted in October. The produce is set to earn the country at least US$170 million of the much needed foreign currency.

“We’re expecting a crop of less than 70 million kilograms because drought in the early season and unseasonably heavy rains more recently have affected the crop. Some growers have opted out of tobacco because of the problems related to getting hold of inputs,” said Ferreira.  

Tobacco production in Zimbabwe, which produces mainly flue-cured tobacco that rivals the US for quality, has plummeted since 2000. That year the country produced 236 million kilograms, earning Zimbabwe US$400 million.

However in 2001 the yield dropped after the seizure of white-owned commercial farms for distribution to blacks deprived of land during colonial rule.

Post published in: Economy

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