Plant early, tobacco farmers urged

HARARE - Tobacco farmers are being encouraged to plant the crop early to avoid the likely danger of El Nino-induced low rainfall expected in the country.

This is following indications by the Meteorological Services Department (MSD) that during the 2018 October-December period, there are high chances of normal rainfall.

Manicaland tobacco specialist Douglas Nzarayebani said farmers growing tobacco should take the warning seriously and plant the crop early to get better yield.

“We have tobacco farmers in the province who planted the irrigated tobacco crop from September 1 and the majority of farmers will plant the dryland crop, and even though tobacco is resistant to dry conditions, farmers should make sure that they cultivate it early to avoid loss of moisture,” he said.

Zimbabwe is the major flue-cured tobacco producer in Africa. Over 124 000 tobacco farmers have so far registered to grow the cash crop during the 2018-19 season compared to 84 000 who registered last season.

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