The government has warned tobacco farmers who are violating stipulated rules and regulations governing the farming of the crop that they risk losing their farms. This was said by Midlands Provincial Crops and Livestock Officer Mrs Madeline Magwenzi.
Magwenzi revealed that her department had observed that most farmers were not following the proper procedures especially stumping, burning of stock and planting dates. This, she said, puts other farmers’ crops at risk of contaminating diseases including Potato Virus Y (PVY).
At the moment, farmers who would have been caught on the wrong side are charged a spot fine of $1 000 per hectare. Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of a Midlands Province tobacco awareness campaign launch in Kwekwe yesterday, Magwenzi said:
The spot fines are not helping matters as the farmers are continuing with the recklessness.
We are warning farmers to follow the law, because failure to do so, they will lose their farms. If in a case that a farmer leased a piece of land, both the farmer and the land owner are going to lose their farm if caught on the wrong side of the law.
We are trying to promote the correct way of doing things given we have a number of new tobacco farmers across the province.
Tobacco, known as the golden-leaf is one of the most foreign currency earners for Zimbabwe.
More: The Chronicle