The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) says it is optimistic that farmers will produce a high quality crop this season despite the recent dry spell that affected the country.
A few weeks ago, Zimbabwe was hit by a dry spell that almost wilted crops and farmers were scared that they might get nothing out of their fields.
TIMB public relations and communications manager Isheunesu Moyo said despite the challenges that tobacco farmers faced, they were positive that the crop was going to do well this season.
“We are optimistic of a good farming season despite the challenges that we faced. Each season has its unique challenges but our farmers with assistance from the Agricultural Technical Extension Services (AGRITEX), TIMB and the Tobacco Research Board were able to adapt positively.
Mr Moyo said the Government availed funds in the tobacco sector aimed at tackling challenges that farmers were facing.
“This season the government extended a US$28 million facility through Agribank to fund non-contracted farmers under the Tobacco Input Credit Scheme.
He said more programmes had been introduced to the sector in order to deal with challenges affecting tobacco farmers.
“There have been other programmes aimed at improving the quality of tobacco such as the drip irrigation facility as well as the rocket barn programme,” he said.
Mr Moyo said farmers had since invested in and adopted new farming practices that were aimed at tackling challenges affecting them.
“Through training, more and more farmers are adopting good agronomic practices. They are also investing in infrastructure through construction of energy efficient barns and installation of rocket barns,” he said.
Tobacco is one of the country’s largest foreign currency earners.
Export destinations for Zimbabwean tobacco include China and South Africa.
Korea, Sudan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, United Kingdom, Spain, New Zealand and Egypt. — New Ziana.