The tobacco industry is proving to be key in the economy with indication being over three million livelihoods are getting sustenance from the golden leaf.

Tobacco is a big income earner in the agriculture sector and many communal farmers continue to be lured by its lucrative proceeds.

Figures of farmers who are now directly involved in farming the golden leaf remains in the positive as highlighted by those registered for this marketing season according to the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board spokesperson Mr Sheunesu Moyo.

“We have registered more than 100 000 farmers for this marketing season, tobacco farming is playing a huge role of uplifting the livelihoods of many people who were previously unemployed,” said Mr Moyo.

During a business leadership and enterprise competitiveness summit held in Harare yesterday, deputy minister of finance and economic development Terrence Mukupe stressed the sector’s importance in providing downstream and upstream benefits to the manufacturing sector of Zimbabwe.

“The tobacco industry is very crucial as millions of the working population are absorbed in the sector. Agriculture as a whole is key to the rebuilding of our economy,” he said.

Agriculture is the backbone of the country’s economic recovery journey as it provides both inputs to the manufacturing industry as well as a ready market for products.