$1 000 fine for errant tobacco farmers

Source: $1 000 fine for errant tobacco farmers | The Herald July 26, 2019

$1 000 fine for errant tobacco farmersTobacco

Chipo Katsidzira Manicaland correspondent
Tobacco farmers who continue violating rules and regulations governing the production of the golden leaf now risk paying a $1 000 spot fine or losing their land, an official has said.

Manicaland provincial Agritex crops and livestock officer Mrs Phillipa Rwambiwa said Government was concerned with the increasing number of farmers who were not following proper procedures in tobacco production.

“Agritex is trying to promote the correct way of doing things, given that we have a number of new tobacco farmers across the province,” he said.

“However, most of these farmers are not following the proper procedures, especially stumping, burning of stock and planting dates,” said Mrs Rwambiwa.

“This puts other farmers’ crops at risk of contracting diseases, including Potato Virus Y (PVY). At the moment, farmers who would be caught on the wrong side are charged a spot fine of $1 000 per hectare.”

Mrs Rwambiwa said those farmers who would continue disregarding the law would lose their land.

“In cases where the farmer is leasing a piece of land, both the farmer and the land owner are going to lose their farm if caught on the wrong side of the law,” she said.

Tobacco is one of the biggest foreign currency earners for Zimbabwe and has become the crop of choice for many communal farmers who make up the bulk of the tobacco producers in the country.