The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Lands, Water, Irrigation and Resettlement has challenged local banks to fully support the tobacco industry as it has emerged as the pillar of agriculture which is the backbone of the countryâ€™s economy.
The call was made during the tour of the countryâ€™s auction floors by the portfolio committee to assess progress made during this tobacco marketing season as well as listening to farmersâ€™ concerns.
A member of the portfolio committee, Cde Bright Matonga commended the overwhelming turn out of small scale farmers at the auction floors but noted that it is high time the local banking sector considers fully supporting tobacco farming as the crop is immensely contributing to the countryâ€™s GDP.
Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio on Agriculture, Lands, Water, Irrigation and Resettlement, Mr Moses Jiri and other committee members hailed efforts by stakeholders in tobacco industry in trying to ensure a better welfare of growers as well as a smooth flow of the tobacco marketing season.
Prospects are high that the 2012 tobacco marketing season will be a successful and encouraging one for most tobacco farmers.
The quality of the local crop continues to improve as reflected by the high prices on the market.