vp mujuru at tobacco growers awards.jpgActing President Joice Mujuru has called upon stakeholders in the tobacco industry to aim higher by broadening their scope to the extensive Chinese market.


Cde Joice Mujuru, who was the Guest of Honour at the Tobacco Sales Floors Awards Ceremony, hailed the tobacco industry for helping arrest the decline which had affected the farming sector.


Tobacco production improved vastly this season recording more than 118 million kilogrammes from the 58 million kilogrammes recorded last year.


Cde Mujuru said the tobacco industry should now consolidate the gains achieved by reaching out to new markets such as the Chinese market, whose doors are increasingly opening up to African products.


“It is now up to us to consider this seriously, it is now up to us farmers to engage these people [Chinese] so that they share their knowledge with us,” said Cde Mujuru.


Cde Mujuru urged tobacco farmers to adopt best farming and handling practices in order to promote optimal land use in line with government’s land reform programme highlighting that agriculture remains the mainstay of the country’s agro-based economy.


“Yes we have mines and factories but they can not function without farmers,” Cde Mujuru said.


Several farmers walked away with an assortment of prices ranging from fertilisers, harrows and other farming implements.


Muzarabani farmer, Hilary Mombeshora won the first prize and went away with a tractor, while Retired General Solomon Mujuru also scooped a prize for coming out as the 6th Best TSF Commercial Tobacco Grower of The Year.