joseph made 01-12-10 ed.jpgThe 2011 tobacco marketing season opened today with more than 170 million kilogrammes expected to be sold up from 123 million kilogrammes of last year.

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister, Dr Joseph Made commended farmers for their resilient and commitment to tobacco farming, saying merchants need to formulate fair pricing systems that encourage a win-win situation between farmers and dealers.

“Merchants need to formulate fair pricing systems to enable farmers to recover from the effects of the illegal sanctions,” he said.

Dr Made attributed the increase in tobacco production to the confirmed success of the land reform exercise which saw 300 000 families benefiting nationwide, of which 82% of the total registered tobacco farmers being communal and A1 farmers.

Zimbabwe is on the road to retaining its breadbasket status in the region after a difficult farming decade, worsened by the illegal sanctions imposed by Britain and her western allies.