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Zimbabwe Tobacco Crop Output to Decline in 2015

A South Korean army special forces soldier breaks bottles with his hand during the Naktong River Battle re-enactment in Waegwan.

Zimbabwe is this year expected to record low tobacco sales compared to last year due to heavy rains that hit the country.

Tobacco and marketing board chief Andrew Matibiri told VOA Studio 7 despite the low crop harvests, the quality of the crop is expected to be as good as that of last year.

The tobacco auction floors are set to be open on March 4 and contract sales the next day. The country exports this commodity mostly to Asia, Europe, Middle East, America, and Solomon Islands.

The government last year projected that the country is expected to generate about 220 million kilograms of tobacco from 90,000 hectares of land. Flue-cured tobacco amounted to 216 million kilograms last year.

Zimbabwe earned $773 million last year compared to $877 million kilograms during the same period in 2013.

The government blamed the low sales on a strike by Mashonaland Tobacco Company workers, who were demanding better pay and improved working conditions.

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