The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) has urged tobacco growers to destroy stalks before mid-May in order to avoid the spread of diseases, with failure to do so attracting fines.
TIMB Spokesperson, Ms Chelesani Moyo said farmers who fail to comply will attract a fine of $100 per hectare.
‘’Growers are reminded that, as per legislation, tobacco stalks must be destroyed before the 15th of May of every year.
“Officials from TIMB, Agritex and Quarantine Services carry out routine inspections of grower’s fields to ensure adherence to the legislated dates and non–compliant growers will be fined $100 per hectare which was gazetted this year,’’ she said.
Meanwhile Zimbabwe Tobacco Association (ZTA) agricultural manager Mr Casper Mlambo said farmers can apply for an exemption considering that most farmers had delays in harvesting the crop.
“Farmers are advised to seek extention periods from the Department of Quarantine Services, Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement to avoid being penalised.”
“Otherwise, we expect stalks to have been destroyed by May 15 to avoid carryover of diseases,” said Mr Mlambo.
All tobacco growers are urged to destroy tobacco stalks on or before the 15th of May in adherence to the Plant Pests and Diseases Act [Chapter 19:08].
Destruction of stalks helps to reduce carryover of diseases and pests. This is most effective when tobacco stalks are destroyed immediately after the final harvest.