Zimbabwe is the largest tobacco producing country in the Africa region with recent crop sizes of FCV at 200,000 Tons. The leaf market in Zimbabwe involves direct contracting of growers and an auction system. Farmer sales by auction are on a declining trend, and ZLT is now procuring the majority of its leaf requirements from contracted growers, sponsoring inputs and financial advances to them for compliant crop production that is traceable and grown in a more sustainable manner.
ZLT’s contracted growers are largely small scale producers, visited regularly throughout the season by ZLT’s field technicians and agronomists providing advice and guidance to ensure adherance to the Company’s policies on good agricultural and good labour practices, as well as attention to reforestation.
As with Universal’s other regional operations, ZLT deploys and relies on Universal’s Mobileaf data collection and reporting technology. Each field technician has a portable electronic tablet to collect and review data with growers, with a menu of reporting capabilities for Company review and analysis.
In addition to promoting improved and more efficient barn construction amongst its growers, ZLT has several other forestry initiatives to achieve sustainable tobacco production. This includes farmer woodlots, school woodlot projects and a collaborative industry scheme.
The school woodlot programme complements ZLT’s focus on improving access to school for children in its tobacco growing communities, with projects to develop and equip school facilities.
Zimbabwe produces only Flue-Cured Virginia.
Tobacco Type Descriptions
Zimbabwe Leaf Tobacco Company (Private) Limited (Zimbabwe)