Tobacco is under threat after international buyers, Global Tobacco Cigarette Companies, resolved not to accept tobacco cured using coal citing environmental concerns. The Sustainable Tobacco Programme states that from 2020, Global Cigarette Companies will not buy tobacco cured using coal.
Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board public relations manager Isheunesu Moyo said that the regulatory board has since engaged in a reforestation programme to meet the requirements of the Global Tobacco Cigarette Companies. Said Moyo:
Confronted with this situation, it is imperative for the tobacco industry in Zimbabwe to adopt aggressive afforestation programmes in order to remain competitive and relevant to the Global Cigarette Industry. TIMB has mobilised $2 million from its own resources for planting of trees for curing tobacco. From this resource envelope the industry is targeting about 2 000 hectares.
TIMB said it has not utilised funds from the afforestation levy despite collecting more than $3 million because it has not obtained Parliament approval.