Zim 2018 tobacco selling season to start late, says regulator

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HARARE – Zimbabwe’s 2018 tobacco selling season is set to begin around April, two months late compared to the  aditional February opening because the crop is not yet ripe, the  Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) said on Saturday.

TIMB public relations and communications manager Isheunesu Moyo told New Ziana that the tobacco crop is at various stages of growth because  farmers planted late due to delayed rains.

“We did a crop assessment and discussed the state of preparedness by  all players in the industry from those who provide hessian bags and  other packaging materials, contractors, buyers, auction floor operators  and fumigators.

“Proposed dates for opening of sales range from 21 March to April  because rains came late so the crop is not ready for sale,” he said.

Commenting on the quality of the tobacco crop, Moyo expressed optimism  rmers will produce a high quality crop this season despite  unfavourable weather conditions that affected the tobacco.

“For the irrigated crop we are expecting an average of 2 300 kg of tobacco per hectare whilst for the dry land crop we are expecting 1 700  kg per hectare. From the late crop which was recently affected by virus, we expect about 1 100 kg per hectare,” said Moyo.

Tobacco is one of the country’s largest foreign currency earners.

Export destinations for Zimbabwean tobacco include China, South Africa, Korea, Sudan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, United Kingdom, Spain, New Zealand and Egypt. – New Ziana

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