• June 25, 2024

Farmers Told to Destroy Seedbeds or Risk Arrest

 Farmers Told to Destroy Seedbeds or Risk Arrest
Image: Global Image Archive

Tobacco farmers in Zimbabwe must destroy seedbeds or risk fines or imprisonment of up to two years, reports The Sunday Mail.

The revised tobacco planting deadline passed on Jan. 15, following a pushback from Dec. 31.

Zimbabwe’s Plant Pests and Disease Act requires farmers to destroy all living tobacco plants on seedbeds by Dec. 31.

“The last date of destroying all tobacco plants in seedbeds was Jan. 15, 2024, and in this case, it passed, and farmers need to abide by that,” said Leonard Munamati, acting chief director of Agricultural Advisory and Rural Development Services.

“Pathogens, such as potato virus Y and bushy top virus, are a result of poor management and failure to comply with the regulation dates,” said Cleopas Chinheya, head of Kutsaga’s plant health services. “Clearing seedbeds breaks the life cycle of pests and pathogens and viral transmission from seedbeds or fields.”

“Complying to the regulated dates does not benefit the enforcers but the farmers,” said George Seremwe, president of the Tobacco Association of Zimbabwe. “If we let pests and disease carry over on our land, it is us who suffer.”

“We always urge our fellow farmers to be responsible in their operations,” said Seremwe.