• April 17, 2024

Dahlia Garwe to Leave Tobacco Research Board

 Dahlia Garwe to Leave Tobacco Research Board

Dahlia Garwe

Photo: Taco Tuinstra

After eight years at the helm of Zimbabwe’s Tobacco Research Board (TRB), Dahlia Garwe is leaving the institution to pursue other interests.

Garwe joined the TRB in 1991 as a research officer in the analytical chemistry department. In 2003, she became a divisional coordinator, and in 2009, she was named assistant general manager of research and extension. In 2012, Garwe was appointed acting general manager, and in 2014, she became the TRB’s first female CEO.

In an interview with The Herald, Garwe reflected on the TRB’s achievements during her tenure. Despite the challenging economic environment, the institution continued to record surpluses thanks to several income-generating initiatives, such as the seed potato project.

During Garwe’s time at TRB, the institute’s scientists contributed significantly to international tobacco conferences and congresses, with quite a few of them assuming leadership roles in various international tobacco research bodies.

The TRB also released several new tobacco varieties, eight of which were released, including to other countries, such as Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania.

Confronted with declining tobacco consumption, the TRB has also been exploring alternative crops, such as industrial hemp, in Zimbabwe.

Asked why she was leaving the TRB, Garwe cited Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, a self-help book that encourages readers to adapt to change. According to Zimbabwe’s Public Corporate Governance Act, Garwe must retire within the next two years as her 10 years in office will be up.

“In the interim, I received a really exciting offer from a local agricultural player, which will allow me further growth,” Garwe told The Herald. “I decided to take it, and I am relishing the new challenge. I will miss TRB, but I am ready to move on.”