Sustainable Afforestation Association has planted 11 000 hectares of plantation 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 they use coal or embark on plantations which can sustain their business increased.

Bindura peri-urban has been affected as residents would fetch firewood for various purposes while farmers are also destroying the nearing 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, said Forestry Commission provincial manager Ms Alice Tafirei.

In Mashonaland Central Province, Sustainable Afforestation Association has planted 140 hectares which amounts to 11 000 hectares in tobacco farming provinces.

The association is targeting to reach 14 000 hectares by December this year.