A total of 64 463 farmers have so far registered to grow tobacco during the 2012/13 season with 22 487, the bulk of who are communal, doing so for the first time. At least 33 998 farmers had registered to grow the crop by the same period last year with 17 247 doing so for the first time.
Statistics released recently by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board showed that of the 22 487 farmers that have registered for the first time, 10 800 are communal while 8 798 are A1 farmers.
The number of A2 farmers is 1 171 while 1 718 are small scale commercial farmers.
Mashonaland Central has the highest number of new registrants with 7 045 followed by Mashonaland West with 6 431, Mashonaland East with 4 196, Manicaland 4 144, Midlands 2 543 and Masvingo with 326.
Only two new farmers have registered to grow the crop in Matabeleland.
Farmers growing tobacco have been increasing every season over the past few years following adoption of multiple foreign currencies as prices being offered are attractive.
The deadline for farmers intending to grow tobacco is October 13, of each year.
However, according to TIMB there was still room for late registrations which attracts a fine of US$10 until December 31 and US$40 from January.
Last year, Zimbabwe produced about 142 million kg of tobacco, slightly short of the 150kg target the Government had set as it moved to return production levels to the pre-2000 era.