……. tobacco value chain set to grow by USD5b by 2025
By Ndafadza Madanha
THE Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) has been charged with increasing the country’s golden leaf production to 300m kgs by June 2021.
Increasing tobacco production is part of the goals set out for the TIMB board by the Ministry of Land, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement.
Speaking at the signing ceremony of Board mandates for parastals under the lands ministry, Minister Anxious Masuka said TIMB must play a critical role in the attainment of vision 2030 and grow the tobacco value chain to US$5B by 2025.
“Reforming and restructuring the TIMB to improve the regulatory, compliance, discipline and traceability environment to increase tobacco production to 300m kg from June 2021. Transforming the tobacco value chain into a USD$5 billion dollar industry by 2025”.
Tobacco is Zimbabwe’s second foreign currency and last year the country sold 230 million kgs of the tobacco leaf.
Tobacco production in Zimbabwe has grown peaking at 250m kg in 2019 on the back of increased participation by small scale farmers.
Additionally the TIMB board was tasked with facilitating alternative and alternate tobacco uses to diversify revenues and assure industry sustainability in the face of climate change, lobbyists and cartels.
He said the issue of contractors short changing farmers was one of the issues the board was grappling with.
“Our focus is ensuring that the crop is produced by sincere people who give the requisite supplies to both small and bag farmers. Contractors who do not give appropriate supplies to farmers will lose their contacts. All we are focusing on the issue of sustainability by encouraging use of coal furnaces as opposed to wood”.