Tobacco growers, Agritex officers graduate

Source: Tobacco growers, Agritex officers graduate | The Herald 01 AUG, 2019

Tobacco growers, Agritex officers graduate

Lynn Munjanja Herald Reporter

About 180 tobacco growers and 60 Agritex officers graduated yesterday at Kutsaga Research Station in Harare after undergoing a one-year training course.

The graduates were presented with certificates during the ceremony, which was attended by Government officials.

Speaking at the ceremony, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Perrance Shiri said it was extremely important for growers to religiously adhere to the legislated sowing, planting and stalk destruction dates to ensure that the tobacco industry endures well into the future.

“Tobacco needs to continue to be promoted as a strategic crop for our country.

“Tobacco industry value chain remains one of the largest employers in the country, with over two million people finding jobs in tobacco and tobacco-related industries. I wish to acknowledge the success of a group of dedicated tobacco growers and Agritex officers who became part of the Kutsaga TIPS Programme,’’ he said.

Minister Shiri also said he hoped the vast knowledge they have acquired will enable them to make a significant contribution to the industry and ensure that Zimbabwe remains a formidable force in tobacco production.

Chairperson of the tobacco research board Dr Millicent Mombeshora said she was happy the new Kutsaga TIPS has instilled a spirit of excellence and continuous improvement in all participants that will ultimately lead to a bumper harvest of the highest quality flue-cured tobacco, resulting in increased flows of the much-needed foreign currency into Zimbabwe.

“Prizes are given to the best growers under the programme as recognition for their efforts,” she said.