Home » Education » AT LEAST 14,000 HECTARES OF TOBACCO IN ZIMBABWE PUT UNDER IRRIGATION

At least 14,041 hectares of tobacco in Zimbabwe have been put under irrigation so far this year,according to the latest statistics released by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB).

The TIMB weekly bulletin released here last Friday said about 12,888 hectares were put under irrigated tobacco planting during the comparable period in 2015.

The TIMB said farmers who have planted irrigated tobacco are from Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland Central, Midlands and Manicaland provinces. Some farmers in Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West provinces have also started planting dry-land tobacco.

The report also said at least 67,493 farmers have so far registered to grow tobacco during the 2016/17 cropping season, which is a nine per cent increase from 62,114 farmers who had registered during the same period last year.

Tobacco growers are required by law to register to grow the crop as well as to submit their crop estimates ahead of the marketing season. At least 202 million kg of tobacco were sold during the 2016 marketing season, surpassing the 190 million kg target which the industry regulator had set.

The past cropping season was characterized by drought which resulted in farmers planting late, while the crop was also heavily affected by dry spells.

Since the country started using multiple foreign currencies in 2009, the tobacco industry has been one of the fastest to recover from the economic meltdown of the past decade. Many farmers have been abandoning other cash crops such as cotton for tobacco because of the favorable prices and tobacco is one of Zimbabwe's major agricultural exports.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK.

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