The government has urged all golden leaf farmers to destroy tobacco stalks as a way of reducing the carryover of diseases and pests to the next farming season.

This came out during a tobacco plant health awareness field day that was hosted by the Department of Research and Specialist Services in Madziva to educate farmers on the emerging  crop  pests.

To reduce the carryover of diseases and pests to the next season, tobacco farmers are mandated to destroy all stalks by the 15th of May of every year, a situation which is not  prevailing on the ground.

The Minister of State for Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs, Advocate Martin Dinha said the emerging crop pests, if not well managed, have potential negative effects on  yield, production costs and eventually on the export market.

The Head of Plant Quarantine Services, Mr Nhamo Mudada said the government remains committed to strengthen surveillance, awareness, management and control systems  despite the emergence of new crop pests.

The tobacco plant health awareness field day was held under the theme: ‘A Health Plant, A Health Nation.’