Tobacco farmers are set to benefit from a partnership that has been created between rural district councils and the countryâ€™s sole coal producer, Hwange Colliery Company.
The two parties signed a Memorandum of Agreement, which will see the company supplying coal to the rural district councils, who in turn will become merchants and ease the burden on tobacco farmers who need the coal for curing tobacco.
The move will benefit the rural district councils in revenue generation while at the same time conserving the environment after farmers were indiscriminately cutting down trees.
Zimbabwe Local Government Association President, Mr Nimrod Chiminya said after the two parties were engaged in a series of meetings since September last year, he is pleased that a partnership has now been created to promote the growth of the tobacco sector in the country.
Hwange Colliery Company Marketing Manager, Mr Charles Zhou said the rural district councils will play a critical role in the distribution of coal and they will be involved in the planning process hence the need to work as a team.
He however advised the local authorities to push volumes of coal for them to realise profits.
The National Railways of Zimbabwe will also come into play in delivering coal from Matabeleland North Province while the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) will represent the interests of tobacco farmers, who depend much on coal for curing the golden leaf.