Premium Zimbabwe

The Premium Group has had a strong trading presence in Zimbabwe tobacco since 2011.

In order to guarantee the quality and quantity of compliant Flue Cured Virginia (FCV) and to increase the group’s presence in the country, Premium Leaf Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd (PLZ) was incorporated September 2016 with a commitment of a substantial investment programme. This has included an equity interest in a leaf processing factory.

PLZ’s well developed industry relationships and the backbone of operations, being direct farmer contracting, with various grower groups has resulted in a smooth entry and the building of a principal position in the Zimbabwean tobacco industry.

PLZ has adopted the Integrated Production System (IPS) with farmers through a “Loan Input Scheme” providing seedbed packs, seeds (both tobacco and maize), fertilizers and approved chemicals. Alongside this are experienced agronomy teams in each of the 3 growing regions to monitor, train and manage all contracted farmers. This system gives the contracted farmers the ability to manage and produce good quality tobacco in line with land availability and barn capacity.

PLZ has implemented the Agronomy Technology Limited (ATL) to monitor, collect data and manage the contract growing base and ensure sustainable farming practices are adhered to.

Tobacco Industry in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe, thanks to its soils and climate, grows some of the world’s finest flavour tobacco. Farming and marketing methods have been refined to a point where Zimbabwe is a leader in world tobacco production in terms of quality and research. Zimbabwe’s global reputation for producing, well graded flue-cured tobacco with minimal chemical residues has been repeatedly reinforced.

Zimbabwe is one the world’s biggest flue-cured tobacco exporters, Tobacco has also been a springboard for the production of other crops and provides the best economic return per hectare amongst all the major annual crops grown in Zimbabwe.

Tobacco was first grown commercially in the late 19 th century with the agricultural department importing different tobacco varieties from America. In 1910, the first auction sales took place in Zimbabwe but were later abandoned in 1914 due to lack of competition between buyers and over-production.

The first half of the 20th century saw the establishment of tobacco research facilities primarily for flue-cured virginia tobacco. Industry development was controlled through legislation that provided the framework the formation of what is now the now the primary industry body, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board and the compulsory selling of tobacco through auction floors.

In 1980 the tobacco industry once again saw a return to the free and unfettered auction selling system. In 2004 the growing and marketing system was changed with the introduction of contract growing and marketing of tobacco, to operate alongside auction tobacco marketing.

Crop Annual Timeline

Commercial Crop

Small Scale Crop