Tobacco firms to curb deforestation

via Tobacco firms to curb deforestation 22/02/2014 by Staff Reporter NewZimbabwe

COMPANIES in the tobacco industry have launched an association aimed at curbing expansive deforestation by growers of the golden leaf, with over 20 percent of the country’s forests already lost to the furnaces of tobacco curing.

“On deforestation, I am happy to note that the tobacco companies have launched the sustainable Afforestation Association (SAA) with the aim of correcting the deforestation effects which are givable across nation,” Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (Timb) Chairperson, Monica Chinamasa told stakeholders at Tobacco Sales Floor on Wednesday.

Chinamasa said the initiative was necessitated by the fact that markets are becoming increasingly sensitive to non-sustainable means of tobacco production.

“I encourage all tobacco growers to embark on individual initiatives to establish woodlots regardless of whether or not they use firewood for curing their tobacco,” Chinamasa said.

The tobacco sector continues to grow with large numbers of new farmers registering to grow the cash crop.

Chinamasa said presently, more than 88,000 growers have registered compared to about 65,000 (farmers) at the same time last year. Out of the registered growers, 26,000 are new growers who have registered for the first time.

Of the 26,000 new growers, more than a thousand are from Masvingo, Midlands and Matabeleland North provinces areas which are traditionally non-tobacco growing areas.

Chinamasa said contractors supported more than 54 percent of the current registered growers and funded 72 percent of the total planted area 2013-2014 season.

Tobacco production has remarkably boosted the rural economy, providing jobs to hundreds of workers in a country which has an unemployment rate of over 80 percent.

Communal farmers have taken virtual charge of tobacco farming in Zimbabwe and now constitute over 40 per cent of registered farmers last year.

Once the mainstay of the country’s economy, agriculture still remains a vital cog in Zimbabwe’s diverse economy, along with mining, tourism and manufacturing. Tobacco was always one of Zimbabwe’s largest exports accounting for a third of all foreign earnings, along with gold and other minerals.

 

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3 comments on “Tobacco firms to curb deforestation
  1. Roving Ambassador says:

    Making the right noises but no action. These useless bums, I went to the forestry commission looking for seedling for a simple orchard there was nothing worth the while. This idiot, Where are the people going to get the trees? Has a fund from tobacco sales been put aside for this.I give up.

  2. Mukanya says:

    Over the years I’ve acquired forestry tree seedlings and the actual forestry tree species seed from the Forestry Commission, but for orchard establishment one can inquire from horticulturists.

  3. Roving Ambassador says:

    Thanks for the notification Mkanya.

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