Zimbabwe expecting tobacco boom in 2021

Zimbabwe’s tobacco output is expected to grow by around nine percent to 200,000 tonnes this year, the industry regulator said Wednesday, providing a major source of foreign currency for the country’s embattled economy.

As the selling season got under way, Zimbabwe’s Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board said output was forecast to rise from 184,000 tonnes last year owing to good rains.

Tobacco raked in $782 million (657.8 million euros) in sales last year for Zimbabwe — Africa’s leading producer of the crop — providing badly needed foreign currency.

The industry is also one of the largest employers in a country choked by joblessness, despite vast agricultural and mineral resources.

Tobacco farmers gathered at a trading floor in the capital Harare on Wednesday to mark the start of selling season, eager to reap profits from the production boom.

“We are happy this season was good,” farmer Remember Kapikinyi told AFP.

Another farmer,…

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