The Tobacco Research Board (TRB) has expressed optimism the 2017/18 tobacco season which starts on Friday will record higher productivity than experienced last summer.
This comes in the wake of a huge interest shown by farmers in tobacco.
September 1st marks the regulated date to begin transplanting tobacco seedlings from seed beds to fields and expectations are high output and quality will improve.
TRB general manager, Dr Dahlia Garwe told the ZBC News the board is looking forward to a better growing season than the previous one which was marked by high rainfall while statistics indicate more seed sales.
“I think any good farmer by now would have done excellent land preparations from April or so because land preparation is extremely important, but more importantly is to get soil tests done so you know what has to be done as far as fertilizer applications are concerned, now as far as we are concerned we think that every farmer should have inputs in place so that as soon as the season starts, the planting season starts on 1st of September they get to work,” he said.
Farmers have shown huge interest with the number of new tobacco growers going up by over 100 percent.
As of 23 August, 79 000 growers have registered with 22 000 being new growers.
807 kilograms of tobacco seed have been sold and they are adequate to cover 34 000 hectares of land.
The golden leaf is the country’s single largest foreign currency earner.
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