TRB in $60m move to increase tobacco production

The Tobacco Research Board says it will soon unveil a five year $60 million maximum value strategy aimed at increasing Zimbabwes tobacco productivity.

The money will be used to maximise returns from sustainable production. The strategy will be implemented over a five-year period beginning next month. The Board said seed production and statistical services improvements would provide innovative and accurate data analysis and interpretation from gene to ecosystem level as a basis for recommending new crop management practices.

The MVS replaces the five year Consolidation, Continuity and Growth Strategy of 2006, in a move aimed at advancing science-based management of tobacco by growers. The strategy, which will cost $8, 2 million annually, will also facilitate and enable other major stakeholders, in particular the tobacco trade, to extract the utmost value from environmentally and socially responsible tobacco business practices.

The research board said it had identified the need to develop and provide elite tobacco varieties, innovative value-adding services to growers and other stakeholders and capacitating growers with cost-effective agro-based technologies.

More than 600 projects and experiments will be carried out over the five-year period.

Of these, over 60 percent will be field-based experiments. Additionally, through active linkages with five local universities, over 40 projects will be pursued annually to elucidate and provide insights into the fundamental aspects of the science of tobacco production.

Zimbabwe sold 99,5 million kilograms of flue cured tobacco worth $265, 9 million by May 31 this year, representing a 36, 6 percent increase in sales from the same period last year, figures from the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board revealed.

The country has sold 26,6 million kg more than last years 72, 8 million kg, recording a 20, 8 percent increase in revenue from $220 million in 2010 to $265,9 million.

The number of bales put under the hammer subsequently grew more than 44, 2 percent from 906,000 in the prior year to 1,2million this year, while rejected bales increased by 22 percent mainly due to moulding and bad handling.

Post published in: Economy

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