Tobacco sales have hit 200 million kilogrammes targeted for 2018 marketing season with expectations high that the volumes will go up to 220 million kilogrammes by the end of the season.
The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) had projected that tobacco sales will surpass the 200 million kilogrammes mark and indeed, this has proved to be a reality in the wake of latest figures of sales.
In an exclusive interview with the ZBC News, TIMB CEO, Dr Andrew Matibiri revealed that with the rate at which farmers continue to deliver their golden leaf, a revised target of 220 million kilogrammes can be achieved.
An assessment by TIMB of the 2018 tobacco marketing season show that the bulk of farmers have come of age as evidenced by quality crop and firm prices being fetched since the auction floors opened doors.
Farmers have so far raked in about US$600 million in forex and with increased tobacco inputs support for the 2018 -2019 season and export bonus incentives which were doubled to 12.5 percent by the RBZ, prospects are bright that the tobacco crop will rake in about US$1.5 billion in foreign currency earnings.