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Let’s Keep Our Forests, Tobacco Farmers Told.

By Faith Chimutsa

Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry has taken farmers to task of planting trees, not only to cut down trees without replacing them when they cure their tobacco.

This was said during  a national tree planting day at Rusununguko primary school in Mazowe on Tuesday.

In order to conserve forests and woodlands, efforts are being made through working with tobacco farmers who are being encouraged to plant fast growing trees for tobacco curing energy.

“In the year 2020/ 21 tree planting season a total of 1.415,306 trees were planted establishing 1065 woodlots . The forestry commission is going forward with the program this coming season targeting to plant 3 million trees across the province” ministry official said.

Sustainable Afforestation, tobacco merchants and NGOs are also in the tree planting, driving tree plantations acknowledge their contribution to save forests.

“Mazowe district is the home of citrus production and flagship Mazowe brand derives it’s name from this district. Mazowe had good forest cover but with urbanisation, mining and it’s proximity to Harare, the cover is reducing at an alarming rate.

In a speech read on her behalf, the first Lady, Auxillia Mnangagwa said the preservation and planting of trees gives us the opportunity as responsible citizens to add value and enrich our natural ecosystem which help in sustaining our lives.

Mashonaland central province is geared to push the economy to an upper middle income by 2030 as envisioned by his Excellency the president of the Republic of Zimbabwe Dr .E.D .Mnangagwa.

“The province is endowed with a rich natural resource base includes forests, woodlands supporting the campfire program. Good soils and wild animals are natural resources which support agriculture, mineral resources and water bodies.RDCs , farmers,miners and land developers are encouraged to consider forests and woodland as important land uses” added Mai Mnangagwa.

She added that tobacco farmers are impacting heavily as they cure the golden leaf every year, environmental management,Zimparks forestry commission are there to find suitable technologies for tobacco curing so that reliance on firewood can be reduced”, she said tobacco farmers and miners are encouraged to use coal in their operations.