Zimbabwe registers 3% increase in 2021/22 tobacco growers
By Edward Mukaro
ZIMBABWE has registered an increase of 3 percent in the number of farmers that will grow tobacco in the upcoming 2021/22-tobacco season, a Cabinet minister has said.
Addressing the media at a post-cabinet briefing, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa said, “Regarding the planting of tobacco, some 105 528 farmers have registered for the 2021/22 tobacco season compared to 102 098 farmers that had registered at the same time last year, representing a 3% increase.
“The area planted is 28% above that planted last year, because of an enlarged irrigated crop,” she said.
The registration deadline for (Virginia/Burley/Dark fired) the upcoming season is 31st October 2021.
According to the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) statistics recorded on the 20th September 2021, Year-to-date figures reflect that a total of 210.492.646.00 kilograms were marketed at an average price of US$2.80 in the just ended marketed season.
Meanwhile, a significant number of cotton farmers are yet to receive payment for marketed produce, with only 39% of the total owed being paid to farmers.
“The value of the seed cotton delivered to date is ZW$6.384 billion. COTTCO has paid a total of ZW$2.9 billion to farmers, including US$ 3 912 500.00. Payments to date are 39% of the total requirement.
“Farmers are yet to be paid a total of ZW$3.466 billion for seed cotton delivered to COTTCO during the 2020/2021 season. As of 25 October 2021, Treasury had availed ZW$500 million towards payment of cotton farmers. The payment process has been set in motion
Regarding the Presidential Climate-Proofed Cotton Pfumvudza/ Intwasa Scheme for the 2021/2022 season, the trained farmers are 36% of the targeted 520 000 growers. Outstanding payments are slowing uptake of cotton production. Measures are being put in place to expedite inputs deliveries in particular the first tranche comprising seed, basal fertilizer, and chemicals,” said Hon Mutsvangwa.