Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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We’ve enough seedlings to cover 1 800ha – TRB

We’ve enough seedlings to cover 1 800ha: TRB

Agriculture Reporter

The Tobacco Research Board has enough seedlings to cover 1 800 hectares and has trained more than 62 000 farmers under its Calendar-Based Training and Circus Meetings ahead of the 2010/11 growing season.

TRB assistant general manager (research and extension) Dr Dahlia Garwe revealed this in an interview at the Harare Agriculture Show on Tuesday.

Dr Garwe said: “We are also sitting on 2 000 kilogrammes of seed and 550 kilogrammes have already been sold either through the Kutsaga Seed Association or the Zimbabwe Tobacco Seed Association.

“The TRB has also given out more than 60 000 variety information sheets to help growers on choosing varieties while a further 20 000 tobacco planning diaries for precise information on seasonal activities have also been handed out to growers for free.”

She said the recent surge in tobacco production was testimony to the positive impact of the training and information dissemination programmes the TRB was conducting.

Dr Garwe said TRB wanted to see the tobacco industry regain the production levels of 2000 when it formed the cornerstone of the economy by dominating export earnings.

TRB divisional co-ordinator for field services, Mr Ezekia Svotwa, said they were giving out packs of gum tree seeds enough for three hectares to each farmer.

This is to reduce environmental degradation through deforestation when farmers cut trees for tobacco curing.

“In this gum tree project, we are working with the Forestry Company, the Environmental Management Agency and Agritex,” he explained.

The TRB projects to have raised and sold seedlings enough to cover 3 000 hectares by the end of the growing season while training programmes will be adjusted in tandem with seasonal activities.

“Our Calendar-Based Training programmes are designed to train the growers on the basics of tobacco management and at the moment our focus is on seedbed and land preparation.

“Land preparation will involve such activities as tillage, ridging, fertilisation, fumigation and pre-irrigation,” he said.


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