• June 15, 2024

Zimbabwe: Farmers Urged to Clear Fields

 Zimbabwe: Farmers Urged to Clear Fields
Photo: Taco Tuinstra

Tobacco growers who failed to clear their fields of residue from the previous crop by the May 15 deadline will face stiff penalties, Zimbabwe’s Kutsaga Research warned.

To break the life cycles of tobacco pests and pathogens, along with incidental infestations such as mealybugs and false wireworms, Zimbabwean law requires growers to clear their fields of all stalks from the previous crop before they prepare their seedbeds for the next growing season, according to The Herald.

The Plant Pests and Diseases Act requires this to be done by May 15 of every year. This year, seedbed preparations may start no earlier than June 1 while planting should not commence before Sept. 1.

Officials from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board, Agritex and Plant Quarantine Services will be carrying out routine inspections of growers’ fields to ensure compliance, Kutsaga Research said in a notice.

“It is every tobacco grower’s responsibility to be proactive and ensure good agricultural practices and efficient use of aphicides as we enter the news season in order to slow down proliferation of aphids so as to minimize all viral transmissions,” the organization wrote.

Violators risk fines equivalent to US$100 per hectare.