100 tobacco farmers will benefit from the BAT Zimbabwe Tobacco Empowerment Trust which will see indigenous small scale farmers in tobacco regions being capacitated with best agricultural techniques.

The farmers at Mashayamombe Vocational Training Centre in Mashonaland West Province will benefit from the trust, which is a availed partnership between BAT, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB), the Tobacco Research Board  and the Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment.

The farmers will undergo a 12-day course which will see them being capacitated with the best farming skills to improve the quality of tobacco.

Speaking in Ngezi this Wednesday, Tobacco Research Board General Manager, Dr Dahlia Garwe said the trust partners have an obligation to improve the quality of tobacco in the country through research and training development which is calendar-based.

TIMB Mashonaland West Regional Manager, Lovemore Chikwenya said they have witnessed a 48% increase in tobacco farmers for the 2017/2018 farming season.

He added that the trust will see youths being trained on environmentally friendly farming methods which will see a decline in deforestation levels.

BAT Zimbabwe Tobacco Empowerment Trust Secretary, Stephen Nyabadza said they have come up with the initiative to provide refresher courses to empower the farmers.

The Deputy Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, Cde Mathias Tongofa said the trust, which started in 2012, is in line with the indiginisation law and it will assist youths with capital and farming knowledge skills.

Cde Tongofa said the trust, which is in support of the ZIMASSET blue print, will see about 300 hectares being utilised in vocational training centres.