Zim farmers sell record tobacco crop
Harare - Zimbabwe's tobacco sale closed Friday with a record crop of 122 million kg moving hands, which officials attributed to the increase of small-scale farmers who joined the industry.
Rodney Ambrose, chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association, said indications for the next cropping season were that the country would produce 140 million kg.
"The tobacco selling season comes to and end today (Friday), with 122 million (kg) of the leaf having been sold," Ambrose said.
"If we get good weather without too much rain just like we had this year, the country could produce between 140 to 150 million kg."
The association also said the significant increase could be attributed the fact that about 51 000 small-scale resettled farmers had helped produce the crop.
According to government estimates, tobacco accounts for more than 50% of agricultural exports, translating to about 30% of Zimbabwe's total exports.
At the beginning of the selling season, prices ranged between $3.50 and $4.50 (2.7 and 3.5 euros) per kg.
However, these declined to 1.90 and 2.00 dollar/kg.
This years' crop output has surpassed the initial 77 million kg anticipated at the start of the year.
Last year, Zimbabwe sold 56 million kg.
Over the years, tobacco production and earnings declined due to President Robert Mugabe's controversial land reforms, which he said were meant to address colonial imbalances between white landowners and the black majority.
Production has also suffered as a result of successive years of drought.
Traditionally, tobacco sales start in April but this year they were brought forward to February at the request of small-scale
growers, who said they needed the money from the sales to finance their next crop.
Who cares. And who can believe anything coming out of a country that's ruled by power hungry murdering theives.
If Mugabe was responsible for the decline why is production going up because Mugabe is still at the helm?? There is a story behind this Zimbabwean story. Good people will never be down forever, sanctions have got a limit. FACT: sanctions have failed
@Nick, Shame on you, it seems you are adamant that how things have been in Zim, should stay the way they are or even get worse so that you can carry on slandering and satisfy your crutch to be negative. My mothers pension and my fathers policies were scoured by the inflation and instability that has happened in that country, and it has been really bad. My father inherited a farm from my grandfather in 1981 when he died, and this farm was established in 1964 (am black for that matter) and I tell we have not seen such disasters on this piece of land as much as we have seen in the last couple of years. however this are better, fertiliser is availabe and that is the one basic ingridient needed on an agricutural farm and the difference has been seen. 30tonnes of grain in one season. So you see I have first hand experience of what is actually taking place... Things are getting better my friend. So believe the article, and sorry for stealing your thunder to be so presumptious.
Record? In 2000 before the land grabs the total was 224 million (kg)
Yes in 2005 they sold 220 Mil KG it may be a record compared to last year, but still way off the numbers they used to do
In 2000 the tobaco industry produced 227 726 tonnes, thus current production is only 53% of previous production. Thus it must be 'recent' record?
You can't eat tobacco, some "record" compared to before Mugabe's thieving.
@chogm. There are no economic sanctions on zim!
If the figures in the article are reliable then Zimbabwe earns about $98/per capita per year from exports. Calculated based on an average price of $3/kg for tabacco, 122 million kgs, 30% of total exports and 12.46 million population (World Bank figure 2008). How do they survive?
They survive on aid Germany alone donate $50,000,000-00 pa. Zim GDP$100 pp pa. [CIA Factbook]
There are no sactions against Zimbabwe!! Only against 110 or so of cronies of Mugabe. Zimbabwe is still exporting beef, tobacco, cotton, paprika, gold, diamonds, steel, platinum, zinc and chrome.
Yes, since March 2009 living conditions for the average zimbabwean citizen has improved and continues to improve, albeit slowly. This is happening simply because the general population also have access to forex ( rands, dollars sterling mostly ) and the inflation rate has dropped dramatically since the abolishment of the zim dollar.
Free enterprise is flourishing at the bottom of the barrel, at so-called groundroots level, the upper echelon are not able to scoop all of the loot anymore, not as they had done for more than 9 years!!!