Flue-cured crop recovers

| February 27, 2018

The Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union (ZCFU) says that recent rain means that flue-cured tobacco deliveries are likely to hit Zimbabwe’s target of 200 million kg this season, according to a story in The Chronicle.

This is something of a turnaround.

Last week, it was reported in The Herald that unhelpful weather had meant that flue-cured tobacco plantings were down by more than five percent this season.

The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) was reported to have said that the 5.5 percent drop in tobacco hectarage had been caused by poor rainfall distribution. In its latest crop assessment report compiled with Agritex after an assessment undertaken from January 22 to February 2, the TIMB said 104,397 ha were put under tobacco this season compared to 110,518 ha last season.

But in an interview on Monday, ZCFU president Wonder Chabikwa said his organization was optimistic that the targeted 200 million kg would be achieved this selling season, which is due to begin about the middle of next month.

“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,” Chabikwa was quoted as saying. “Due to the dry spell, we had lost hope that the targeted yields would be achieved.”

Last year, tobacco growers produced 189 million kg of flue-cured.

Chabikwa said irrigated tobacco was now being reaped while the rain-fed crop was at various stages of growth, with some plants developing new leaves as a result of the prevailing wet spell.

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