Tobacco sector expected to enhance forex earnings

By ZBC Reporter
THE anticipated record tobacco harvest is set to provide a huge impetus to Zimbabwe’s foreign currency earning capacity and savings.
The golden leaf is yet another crop expected to perform well on the back of good rains this summer cropping season, with estimates from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) signalling that the 180 million kilogrammes harvested last year will be exceeded by a big margin.
With a few weeks before the start of the 2021 tobacco marketing season, one tobacco farmer in Mashonaland central province showcased his vast tobacco operations in preparation of delivering one million kilogrammes to the floors.
“We put over 1000 hectares under tobacco estimates are that we will earn close to 5 million dollars in revenue”
Economist Dr Prosper Chitambara said a combination of a record maize and tobacco harvest will transform Zimbabwe’s net foreign currency position.
“Close to a billion will be earned this year and if you juxtapose that with savings from grain Imports due to a bumper harvest, foreign currency challenges will be a thing of the past,” noted Dr Chitambara.
Perennial grain imports gobbled at least a billion United States dollars annually, with forex savings expected from this year’s harvest set to be channelled to other critical sectors.
Furthermore, tobacco earnings will buttress the forex inflows of the country, hence the cylinders of the economy will fire.

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