The number of farmers that have so far registered to grow and sell tobacco during this season jumped 17 percent to 82 183 from 70 531 growers that registered during the same period last year.
Statistics released by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) show that the bulk of the registered farmers are communal at 38 834 followed by A1 31 591, A2 6 304 and small-scale commercial farmers 5 454.
Mashonaland west at 31 576 accounted for the bulk of the registered farmers followed by Mashonaland Central 29 847, Manicaland 10 639, Mashonaland East 9 886 Midlands 164, Masvingo 68 and Matebeleland 3.
The number of new growers was up 64 percent to 14 880. The TIMB said curing of the irrigated crop was in progress, with the cured leaf predominantly in the fair to good standard styles.
The regulatory body however noted that there were signs of aphid infestation noted in most tobacco growing areas.
It also noted an improvement in mechanisation.
“Noticeable improvement in farm mechanisation in terms of curing and irrigation facilities (tunnel, rocket barn, drip and centre pivot systems),” TIMB said.
Tobacco is the single largest export commodity for Zimbabwe, ahead of platinum and gold.