Tobacco Farmers in Zimbabwe Begin Preparing for Planting Season

Tobacco Farmers in Zimbabwe Begin Preparing for Planting Season
Zimbabwean tobacco farmers begin preparing land for irrigation tobacco crops, with concerns about high input costs.

According to a report in The Pioneer newspaper, tobacco growers in Zimbabwe have started preparing land for irrigated tobacco crops in early September.

Photo: YanaKho

September 1st marks the earliest legal date for transplanting tobacco from the seedbed to the field. Most rain-fed crops are typically planted between October and early December, depending on the region. To prevent disease transmission, tobacco growers must destroy tobacco stalks and regrowth, which can harbor pests and pathogens, by May 1st each year.

Industry representatives have expressed concern over the cost of agricultural investment this year. Edward Dune, Vice Chairman of the Zimbabwe National Farmers' Union, urged authorities to improve payment conditions, saying "the main challenge locally is that input prices are extremely high, making it difficult for most farmers to continue growing tobacco.

This season, tobacco growers are receiving three-quarters of their income in foreign currency, with the remaining balance paid in local currency at the current auction exchange rate on the day of sale.

According to the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Committee, due to low production, the price in the auction hall is currently $3.04. In 2022, tobacco growers earned over $620 million from tobacco sales.


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