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July 02, 2009

Zimbabwe gets $60 million to boost tobacco output

by Brian Latham

Zimbabwe secured a $60 million loan from the Africa Export Import Bank to boost tobacco production, the Herald newspaper reported, citing Finance Minister Tendai Biti.

The southern African nation needs about $120 million to increase annual tobacco output to 75 million kilograms (165 million pounds) from 42 million kilograms now, the Harare-based newspaper said.

Often-violent farm invasions by loyalists of President Robert Mugabe have seen tobacco production plummet from a high of 236 million kilograms in 2000, according to the Web site of Universal Corp., the world’s largest tobacco-leaf merchant.

Bloomberg

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