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Chiwenga opens tobacco marketing season

Chiwenga opens tobacco marketing season


Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has officially opened the 2024 tobacco marketing season, with the first bale going under the hammer for US$4,92 per kilogramme, up from last year’s opening price of US$4,35.

Tobacco is the country’s second-largest foreign currency earner, coming after gold.

Following an El Nino induced prolonged dry spell, the yield of the golden leaf is expected to slightly decline this year.

However, prices are expected to be firmer as the appetite for local tobacco continues to grow globally.

Officially opening the tobacco marketing season, Dr Chiwenga said the sector is set to be a US$5 billion industry by 2025.

“As has been explained by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, the El Niño phenomenon has taken a toll on our crops.

“However, this has not dampened our efforts in attaining a US$5 billion tobacco industry. The following season might be better. We all need to work together to improve our agriculture,” said VP Chiwenga.

Farmers who spoke to this publication bemoaned the harsh patterns of the season.

Samuel Mabhera of Karoi said this farming season was not easy, although he is optimistic that the prices will improve in line with the higher demand for the golden leaf.

Mrs Elizabeth Mhishi of Mashonaland Central said she is expecting to get her payment early so that she prepares for the next season.

This year, farmers are expected to get 75 percent of their payments in United States dollars, while 25 percent will be local currency at the prevailing official rate.

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