Sustainable Afforestation Association has planted trees on 11 000 hectares of land as a way of encouraging tobacco farmers to desist from wanton destruction of forests for firewood.

The wanton destruction of forests by farmers and villagers has been a cause for concern among environmentalists.

Tobacco farmers have been cited as chief culprits, with calls to ensure that they use coal for tobacco curing or embark on plantations which can sustain their business.

Bindura peri-urban has been affected as residents would fetch firewood for various purposes, while farmers are also destroying the nearby forests despite calls to desist from such activities.

“It is prudent for stakeholders to converge and come up with workable solutions to deforestation which is increasing annually,” Forestry Commission Provincial Manager, Ms Alice Tafirei said.

In Mashonaland Central Province, Sustainable Afforestation Association is targeting to reach 14 000 hectares by December this year.