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Zimbabwe records highest tobacco output in 198 years

by Staff reporter
15 Jun 2023 at 06:46hrs | Views
Zimbabwe has recorded the highest tobacco output in its 198 years of growing the crop.

The milestone follows another agriculture success story that resulted in last year's wheat output being the highest since 1966.
nting a post-Cabinet media briefing yesterday, Information Communication Technology (ICT), Postal and Courier Services Minister, who was the acting Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Dr Jenfan

Minister Jenfan Muswere said another tobacco production record has been set.

"The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Honourable Dr Anxious Jongwe Masuka reported that the country's tobacco output in the ongoing 2023 marketing season stands at 261 million kilogrammes, surpassing the previous record of 259 million kilogrammes.

This is on the backdrop of the fact that 85% of the tobacco is being produced by smallholder farmers, 60% of whom are beneficiaries of the Land Reform Programme, demonstrating that Government policies in the agriculture sector are sound and continue to bear fruit," said the Minister.

Last month, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe had saved up to US$300 million in import costs following a record wheat harvest last year of over 375 000 tonnes and is working hard to ensure a lot more wheat is delivered this year.

The President said increased grain inflows from communal, small-scale and large commercial farmers has resulted in the growth of Zimbabwe's Strategic National Grain Reserves.

 "I am pleased to highlight that Zimbabwe is now food secure. We are self-sufficient in wheat production, since 2022, saving up to US$300 million dollars annually in import costs.

"A maize bumper harvest, attributed to favourable rainfall, increased irrigation capacity and agronomy support all supported by Government programmes, is now the norm.

"Pfumvudza/Intwasa Climate Proofed agriculture, a model focusing on the efficient use of inputs, labour and water resources among small-scale and communal farmers has had tremendous results to household food security, nutrition and incomes," said the President.

In a statement early this month, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Permanent Secretary, Dr John Basera, said Government has revised upwards the winter wheat production target of 85 000 hectares to 90 000                                                                                        hectares as the country is positioning itself to be a net exporter of wheat in the region.

In order to meet the 90 000ha target and self-sufficiency milestone, Dr Basera said farmers need to accelerate the   planting pace, increase the hectarage by putting all irrigatable land under wheat production.

Zesa has already assured farmers of guaranteed electricity supply this winter wheat cropping season. The power utility said it has put in place the requisite modalities to ring-fence 120MW for farmers.

On its part, the Government continues to construct dams across the country to promote irrigation to boost food production so that going forward the country can produce surplus for export.

Source - The Chronicle