Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) figures show 169,772 growers have registered to grow tobacco in the 2019 season, compared to 116,525 registered growers at the same time last year.
TIMB figures showed Masvingo had the highest number of growers registered with a 63 per cent increase so far, the Herald reported. A 56 per cent increase in registered grower numbers was reported in the Midlands. According to the report, 41,021 of the registered growers are new.
Shadreck Makombe, President of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers' Union, cited newly introduced state incentives as the reason for the increase in tobacco leaf production. “Government is very supportive and giving attention to the crop in terms of management and inputs,” Makombe was quoted as saying. “Tobacco is a golden leaf and readily paying. There are good contracts and more incentives in tobacco than any other crop. Tobacco farmers are already getting 20 per cent of their payment in foreign currency and there are ongoing consultations to increase it to 55 per cent.’’