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Tobacco growers ask for funds

12 Nov 2020. Tobacco growers in Zimbabwe are calling for funding from the government so that they can climate-proof their crop, reports The Herald.

At present, tobacco is almost entirely funded by the private sector, with most farmers on contact to tobacco merchants, after being licensed by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB), the report said. While this guarantees their income, the system does not have loans or other funding for capital investment such as dams and boreholes. According to the report, the farmers feel that if they receive adequate funding they can shift to irrigation, like those with the early planted crop, which will enhance production. The government is aiming 150,000 hectares of tobacco for this season. The crop is reported to be in good condition as most farmers are contract growers. According to the report, tobacco growers have already planted 21,348 hectares of tobacco for the present season, with 123,159 farmers registered to grow the crop.