Zim closes tobacco season on high note

Zimbabwe is officially the number one flue-cured tobacco producer in Africa, having closed its 2018 season with export earnings at $892 million.

According to data from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB), last year's crop was exported at an average price of US$4.85 a kg. China retained its top slot as the major global importer, with South Africa, Belgium, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Indonesia among the top five importers of the product. South Africa spent U$100.8 million on 32.2 million kg of tobacco.

A TIMB spokesperson said these record earnings were due to an increase in farmers registered to grow and sell the golden leaf after the Central Bank increased the tobacco input finance facility from U$28 million in 2017 to $70 million in 2018.

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