Tobacco Asia

Volume 19, Number 1

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Page 52 of 75

How Can Sharing Knowledge Help Shape a Brighter Future? Through practical training in best agronomic practices on AOI model farms, Producers in India learn ways to improve the safety of their operation while maximizing quality, yield and net income. It's part of our commitment to unite the world under One Vision of action-oriented social responsibility. See Our Vision for Positive Change ACTION-ORIENTED SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ACTION-ORIENTED SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY China was the largest importer, buying the bulk of the exports or 19.1 million kilo- grams at US$167 million, followed by South Africa (2; US$7.89 million), Mauritius (936,000 kg; US$3.4 million), Russia (887,200 kg; US$1.8 million), and UAE (650,000 kg; US$2.57 million). Zimbabwe's tobacco exports to China alone for this period grew exponentially, leap- ing by more than tenfold compared to the same period last year, due to the continuous growth in demand for Zimbabwean leaf by the Chinese market. TIMB statistics show that in January 2014 Zimbabwe imported to China 1.3 of tobacco leaf valued at US$11.9. However, this year's crop was sold at the price of US$8.72 per kg, less than last year's US$9.39 per kg. This drop in price is believed to be a result of last year's huge stocks still stored in merchants' warehouses. In January 2015 alone, Zimbabwe exported a total of 23.6 of tobacco, valued at US$181.7 million at the average price of US$7.70 per kilogram, compared to 5.5 valued at US$23.2 million at an average price of US$4.22 the year prior. This year's exports thus far have gone mainly to 29 countries including Hungary, Egypt, Vietnam, Botswana, Hong Kong, Sudan, the United States of America, Korea, and New Zealand. Last year sales were made to 33 countries. China has proven to be a top importer of Zimbabwean leaf. In 2014, Zimbabwe ex- ported a total of 135.5 of tobacco at US$5.70 per kg, grossing a total of US$722.5 million. China was the top importer, buying 48 at US$8.37, valued at US$401.9 million, followed by Belgium (29.7 at US$4.01 per kg, US$131.5 million), South Africa (13 m kg at US$4.01 per kg, US$52.1 million), the UAE (9.2 at US$3.16 per kg, US$29.1 million), and Russia (4.7 at US$2.98 per kg, US$14.2 million). In 2013, China led the pack at 60.3 that it bought at US$7.88 per kg, bringing US$475.6 million in tobacco revenue to Zimbabwe. Belgium followed at 27.4 at US$5 per kg, totaling US$27.4 million. Other top importers for 2013 were South Africa (17.3 at US$3.39 per kg, US$58.8 million), Sudan (6.2 at US$4.46 per kg, US$27.9 million), and UAE (5.6 at US$2.68 per kg, US$15.1 million). …and more farmers growing The number of farmers growing tobacco has been increasing each year following the land reform program, which created opportunities for a majority of farmers to own land, and the higher returns from tobacco crops compared to traditional crops like maize and cotton. For 2015 the trend has not changed, with about 88,640 farmers who have registered to grow the crop for this season, up from 87,281 during the same period last year. The bulk of the number of registered farmers is 41, 212 farmers from the communal area, fol- lowed by 32,542 from the A1 sector (individual residential and agricultural land but share common grazing), 7,924 from the A2 (self-contained farm units for commercial agricul- ture with state support for infrastructure) sector, and 6,962 from the small-scale sector. Of the 88,640 registered farmers, 30,807 are from Mashonaland West, 26,276 from Mashonaland Central, 15,445 from Manicaland, 15,276 from Mashonland East, 447 from Midlands, 376 from Masvingo, and 13 from Matebeleland. New farmers make up about 18% of the total number registered, coming to 16,540 farmers. Of this number, 10,105 are communal farmers, 5,347 are A1, 546 are A2, and 542 are small-scale commercial farmers. The largest group of new farmers are from Manicaland (5,844), followed by Masho- naland Central (4,605), Mashonaland East (2,939), Mashonaland West (2,733), Matebele- land (203), Midlands (168), and Masvingo (8). Despite having faced the challenges of rains and dry-spells, Zimbabwean farmers are positively optimistic that the projected target of 220 of tobacco for the 2015 season will be achieved.

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