Tobacco farmers to also grow wheat

Staff Reporter

Government has proposed that tobacco farmers should also grow wheat in order to increase the hectarage under wheat as well as increase its output.

Speaking during the seventh Cabinet briefing, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa said, “Pertaining to wheat, Cabinet reports that in order to increase the hectarage under wheat as well as increase the output, tobacco farmers will be roped in to grow the crop. The transition to winter wheat by tobacco farmers is a welcome move and will go a long way in boosting supply of the cereal so that we have sufficient fertilizers for winter-wheat farming.

“Efforts are also being made to guarantee fertilizer supplies for the summer season.”

Minister Mutsvangwa informed the nation that tobacco merchants exported 47.6 million kilogrammes of tobacco valued at US$245 million, compared to 28.7 million kilogrammes worth US$69.6 million exported during the same period in 2021.

She said that the reaping and curing were the main activities of the tobacco crop and were at advanced stages for the irrigated tobacco crop, while weeding, de-suckering and topping were in progress for the late dry-land tobacco crop. Minister Mutsvangwa further advised the nation that the 30th March is the start of the tobacco marketing season.

Meanwhile, Minister Mutsvangwa informed the nation about the visit that was made to Mlambapele/Mabolwe Border Post by the Inter-Ministerial Committee of Ministers to appreciate the situation regarding cattle rustling along the border with Botswana.

The Minister said that the purpose of the visit was to appreciate the problem of cattle rustling which involves movement of stolen cattle along the borders of Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana.

Minister Mutsvangwa said, “The nation is being informed that the Inter-Ministerial Committee is expected to mount joint/simultaneous operations with Botswana, aimed at combating cattle rustling and other illegal activities in that area. It will also intensify community policing programs through supporting Village/Cluster Anti-Stock Theft Committees and Traditional Leaders.

“Government wishes to inform the nation that in response to the challenges, and the need to reduce cattle rustling, six Police bases have been established along the 625km border with Botswana and are now operational.”