Wimbainashe Zhakata Mutare Correspondent
Farmers in Nyanga District have taken up the production of tabasco pepper as a way of earning foreign currency.

Tabasco pepper is a variety of chilli pepper species originating from Mexico and is best known through its use in tabasco sauce and peppered vinegar.

Nyanga District Agritex extension officer Mr Shadreck Chingombe described tabasco production as one of the successful projects in the area as the product was exported to the United States.

“Tabasco pepper is the third hottest chilly under the sun,” he said. “We have two chilly processing centres at Nyakomba Irrigation Scheme in Nyanga where most local farmers have been employed.

“This project means a lot to the district and the country as a whole because it has created employment for local farmers. Most farmers have been contracted under the Chilly Paper Company at Nyakomba Irrigation Scheme.”

Mr Chingombe explained how tabasco chilly is processed and packaged before being transported to the US in pulp form.

“These farmers grind the pepper, fill huge containers in pulp form, seal them and transport them to Beira, in transit to USA,” he said.

“This kind of pepper brings a lot of foreign currency in Zimbabwe and it is one of the projects that we brag about as Nyanga District.”

Mr Chingombe highlighted some of the successful projects that farmers are taking part up in the district, indicating some of the challenges faced by farmers.

“Tangwena Honey Processing Centre in Nyanga is still processing honey for local market, but they are yet to produce more for the export market,” he said.

“The honey is, however, quickly running out because there is a high local demand.”

Some farmers in Nyanga District are also considering cabbage farming.

“Nyanga District produces potato seed for the entire country because of low temperatures, but the seed is running out by the end of August,” said Mr Chingombe. “Hence farmers are shifting into cabbage farming due to the high costs of potato production.

“Cabbage is a good winter crop. Currently one cabbage costs $4 per head and a hectare contains about 3 000 to 4 000 heads which is a good number. To produce more, farmers should use cattle manure and minimum fertiliser.”

You Might Also Like