New tobacco growers up by 115pc

by Sunday News Online | Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 | 687 views

Tobacco

THE number of new tobacco growers for the 2017/18 has jumped 115 percent to 29 243 farmers as at November 08, 2017, compared to 13 586 farmers recorded during the same period last year.

This comes as more farmers embark on cash crops and pushing for export oriented economic growth.

Figures from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) shows that of the new farmers, 16 850 are communal while 10 538 are A1 farmers, 1 053 are A2 and 802 being small scale farmers.

Overall, the TIMB says a total 98 482 tobacco farmers registered for the 2017/18 cropping season, which is 36 percent above last season’s 72 575 farmers.

Of the total registered farmers, 48 958 are communal while 37 481 are A1 farmers. Small scale and A2 farmers are 5 732 and 6 311 respectively.

Mashonaland Central has the highest number of registered farmers at 36 985 while Midlands registered the highest increase in farmers to 290 farmers, which is 88 percent above last season.

Total land planted as at October 26 marginally increased by 0, 71 percent to 15 874 hectares planted compared to 15 762 hectares planted in the 2016/17 cropping season.

Of this, 14 102 hectares are under irrigated land, which is a marginal decline from 14 109 that was put under irrigation last year. However, dry cropping this year increased to 1 772 hectares from last season’s 1 653 hectares.

Mashonaland Central has the biggest land put under tobacco crop at 3 906 hectares followed by Mashonaland West Province at 3 898. — BH24

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