Tobacco sales are to begin on 19 February raising hopes that this could ease the liquidity crunch that the country is currently going through.
The country realised US$877 million from sales of 153.3 million kg of tobacco according to Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa.
This year’s crop is expected to be 170 million kg.
More than 20 000 new farmers went into tobacco this season, something that is raising fears that more and more farmers are moving into cash crops abandoning the staple maize.
The country is expected to produce only 1.3 million tonnes of maize. It requires at least 2.2 million tonnes.
There have been reports that more than two million people are likely to face a food shortage before the end of this season but donors say they can only feed one million because they are short of funds.