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Zimbabwe targets US$60 billion tobacco industry

Zimbabwe targets US$60 billion tobacco industry

Tobacco Reporter - Zimbabwe is targeting plans to create a $60 billion tobacco industry by 2028.

Currently, the government is working towards increasing processing and value addition of tobacco from 2 percent to more than 30 percent to boost earnings.

The country currently earns about US$1 billion from its annual tobacco exports, which is 6 percent of the global market.

“In terms of the value transformation strategy, we must tap into the value of our tobacco,” said Obert Jiri, permanent secretary for Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, noting that the tobacco produced is worth over US$60 billion when fully processed across the value chain.

“We understand that most of our tobacco is exported, and the strategy is to tap into that value chain. We are happy that some are doing cigars, some little value addition in terms of cigarette production. The strategy we have as a government is really to ensure that we encourage investments in proper value addition so that we don’t export our raw materials.”

According to Kutsaga CEO, Frank Magama, the board is breeding tobacco seeds for international markets.

“We have trials that are happening in Italy, Brazil, China, and our varieties are also grown in China. The direction that we take from the government, in terms of breeding, is that we must make sure that we have quality products. We excel in tobacco, so our products are now found in the region where we are able to earn foreign currency for the country,” he said.

The Kutsaga Tobacco Research Board recently introduced climate-smart tobacco varieties, enabling farmers to continuously have good harvests despite climate change and new pathogens.

Zimbabwe’s plans are part of the government’s ambitious Tobacco Value Chain Transformation plan.


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