Tobacco production for the 2022\23 farming season is set to increase its cropping hectarage to 130 300ha which is 5% up from 126 000ha done in the 2021/22 farming season.
A source at the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) indicated that, so far 30 000ha have been planted, which is 66% more than the 20 000ha planted this time last season.
“As at 14 November 2022, a total of 30 000ha have been planted, with 18 000ha under irrigation and 12 000ha under rain feed.
“We are targeting 132 300ha and already contractors have pledged to cover 126 000ha, while the remainder will be a self-funded crop,” said the source.
The increase in tobacco production was inspired by the attractive prices that prevailed during the 2021/22 marketing season.
“Last season, 2021/22 tobacco prices were favourable as they were averaging US$3.09 per kg compared to US$2.79 in 2020/21 marketing season,” said the source.
Meanwhile, Government is working towards the attainment of the US$5billion export target by 2025, with tobacco being a major foreign currency earner for the country. The golden leaf has been given priority to ensure maximum production.