By Derick Tsimba
Zimbabwe tobacco industry is worth more than US$10 billion, a reliable source has confirmed.
An analysis by Industry Focus Zimbabwe, which specialises on different industries in Zimbabwe and beyond, including detailed insights and analysis, revealed that over the just ended tobacco sales this year, through value edition, the country could have earned close to US$ 10, 5 billion.
“Zimbabwe produced 252,463,629kgs of tobacco this season, earning about US$ 737,124,613. Exporting the equivalent weight in finished cigarettes can earn the country about US$ 10, 5 billion from one product only. That’s why it is important to invest heavily in value addition, said Industry Focus Zimbabwe.
“Locally we are importing raw materials which we don’t produce locally to add value, on the other hand we are exporting locally extracted raw materials. The country’s top 5 exports are all raw materials which are Gold, Nickel mattes, Tobacco, Nickel ores, Chrome and Diamonds.”
Harare Post has learnt that the country has raw materials at its disposal; these should be utilized by the manufacturing sector to create wealth and employment through value edition.
The Tobacco Marketing Board (TIMB) should stimulate the tobacco industry which is currently exporting close to US$13 million of manufactured tobacco cigarettes and US$1 billion of raw unprocessed flue-cured tobacco so as to increase manufacturing of tobacco cigarettes for the export market towards the US$ 10 billion potential tobacco earnings.