• June 15, 2024

Growers told to diversify

 Growers told to diversify

Having focused on reducing demand for tobacco products in the past, public health advocates are now turning their attention to the supply side of the business.

Zimbabwe’s flue-cured tobacco growers are being encouraged to diversify into other high value export crops such as chia, oil seed and cigar tobaccos, according to a story in The Chronicle.
Although flue-cured tobacco is one of Zimbabwe’s major foreign currency earners, cigarette-tobacco consumption is seen as being under threat in some countries from products such as electronic cigarettes.
The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) corporate communications manager, Isheunesu Moyo, said yesterday the promotion of chia production among tobacco farmers was meant to ensure growers had an all-year-round source of income.
Moyo said that farmers were being trained to grow chia and to engage in horticultural.
Chia, he added, was an ideal crop for diversification since its seeds were in demand abroad and it therefore had good potential as a foreign currency earner.
TIMB has had all its field and technical officers trained in chia production so that they can impart the necessary skills and knowledge to tobacco farmers.