Destroy tobacco stubs, growers urged

30 Jul, 2018 - 00:07 0 Views

The Herald

Conrad Mupesa  in Mhangura

Tobacco farmers who leave stubs in their fields after harvesting risk possible arrest and a lengthy jail term for their negligence.

Speaking to farmers at Binge Secondary School in Mhangura during The Doma Zonal Agricultural Show, Zimbabwe Progressive Tobacco Farmers Association national president Mr Mutandwa Mutasa said farmers were supposed to completely destroy tobacco stubs in their fields.

Keeping them, he said, was against the country’s laws.

“If found guilty, farmers are either jailed 12 months or pay $200 fine per hectare. All farmers should make it a point that whenever they finish harvesting their tobacco, they completely remove the stubs from the ground,” he said.

Mr Mutasa urged tobacco farmers to uproot tobacco stubs to avoid spreading of Potato Virus Y which is caused by aphids.

“Another problem that comes with leaving stubs is emergency of PVY virus.

“The disease is incurable hence the need to prevent it through all means possible,” he said.

He said farmers should also consider crop rotation to avoid the spreading of PVY virus.

According to Kutsaga Research Station, the nation’s tobacco production has been affected by 10-12 percent in the 2017-18 farming season.

Officiating at the show, Zanu-PF National Assembly candidate in today’s harmonised elections, Cde Precious Chinhamo Masango, urged farmers to register and benefit from various agricultural empowerment projects from Government.

“Let us all take up Government’s initiatives for our empowerment. As the nation moves forward to regain its ‘Bread Basket’ status, the Zanu-PF-led Government can only do this through the participation of dedicated farmers,” she said.

The show saw various exhibitors receiving prizes in different categories.

One of the winner, Mr Silent Munondo, however, bemoaned the quality of prizes at the shows, which have discouraged farmers from participating.

Exhibitors were said to have been given as little as a $1 in the previous shows after having paid more than $10 as exhibition fees.

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