Tanzania: Tobacco Tops Traditional Crops, Generates Sh400 Billion
12 June 2013
TOBACCO maintained its outstanding performance among traditional crops, with its export revenues surging to 266 million US dollars (over 425bn/-) in the year ending March 2013.
The country’s major cash crop had generated 265.6 million US dollars during the previous year. Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives show that in the 2010/11 season, farmers produced 130,000 tonnes of tobacco, with only 90,000 tonnes sold, leading to low production due to the losses incurred.
The Bank of Tanzania (BoT) monthly economic review shows that the value of traditional exports increased by 34.6 per cent in the year under review. Tobacco production received a great boost in March, this year following the signing of an agreement on phytosanitary requirements for tobacco leaves to China, the move that will guarantee farmers of reliable market.
The agreement signed between Tanzania and China was on Phytosanitary Requirements for Tobacco Leaves from Tanzania to China between the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ).
The move came despite the austerity measures by the European U nion (EU) to make cigarettes less attractive to new smokers, the move that would lead to reduction of export earnings from tobacco by over 60 per cent.
The BoT report reveals also that coffee exports increased to 195.9 million US dollars from 141.2 million US dollars recorded in the previous year, while cotton generated 173.5 million US dollars (277.6bn/-), more than double the previous year’s 73.5 million US dollars.
Cashew nuts exports increased to 179 million US dollars (286.4bn/-) in the period under review from 81.3 million US dollars (130.08bn/-). Tea exports went up to 59.4 million US dollars (95.04bn/-) compared to 50.1 million US dollars (80.16bn/-) of the previous period.