Zimbabwean Tobacco Farmers Expect High Yields This Year
Zimbabwean tobacco farmers are expecting high yields per hectare this year due to the deployment of pest-control technology.
Farmers also said they expect better prices when the marketing season opens next week.
Crop science researchers and agronomists say they will continue to explore ways of enhancing yields in tobacco farming.
ZBC News quotes Kudzanai Mupotsi, an agronomist, as saying:
If you look at the root system of the two plants, one has nodes and few root hairy while this one has many root hairs. This translates to the uptake of plant nutrients with the affected losing about 40 per cent of plant nutrients.
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Crop Science expert, Qa Khumalo, said the scientific discovery of the damages caused by nematodes is a plus to the growth of the agriculture industry in the country. Added Khumalo:
Even the quality of our tobacco crop will improve greatly matching the global standard.
With the good rains and proper handling of the golden leaf, experts are estimating yields of above 260 million kilogrammes.
Tobacco farming is one of the traditional and major foreign currency earners for Zimbabwe.
While the industry provides employment and income for farmers, there are social and environmental concerns that need attention. These include child labour.
The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board has been warning farmers against side marketing which threatens the viability of the sector.