Following dry weather conditions seen in December and January, ZCFU said good rains meant tobacco deliveries were “likely” to reach the 200 million kg target.
189 million kg of mostly flue-cured tobacco was brought to market in Zimbabwe during the last marketing season.
“We are hopeful that we will achieve our projection of 200 million kg of tobacco this selling season because of the rains that the country has received after the dry spell we experienced along the way in the 2017/18 summer cropping season. Due to the dry spell, we had lost hope that the targeted yields would be achieved,” ZCFA president Wonder Chabikwa was quoted as saying.
Farmers of the irrigated crops were reportedly ready for the selling season which begins in mid-March. “However, the rain-fed crop, which was largely affected by the dry spell experienced for the greater part of the farming season, is starting to show signs of recovery with new leaves developing and that gives us hope that the quality of the crop and yield will be better than previously,” Chabikwa commented.
The Chronicle reported that 5.5 per cent fewer hectares have been planted for the 2017/18 crop compared to the previous comparable period. 15,779 hectares have been planted for this year’s irrigated crop and 88,618 hectares have been planted for the rain-fed crop.