tobacco barn3.jpgGovernment has urged the banking sector to extend loan facilities to tobacco farmers as the sector is one of the dominant contributors to the economy.

The call was made by the Minister of Agriculture Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Dr Joseph Made in a speech read on his behalf by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Ngoni Masoka at the Tobacco Sales Floor (TSF) Tobacco Grower of the Year Awards.

“There is a strong need to resolve challenges in the tobacco industry to avoid discouraging the efforts of the numerous A1 and A2 resettled farmers who are trying to make a living through growing of the crop and contribute to the national income,” said Mr. Masoka.

The award winning farmers urged fellow growers to desist from taking shortcuts when farming if they are to get a bumper harvest.

TSF chairman, Mr. Richard Musvairi also commended the winning farmers for their efforts which have shown the success of the indigenous farmer.

Dr Munyaradzi Kereke who won the Best Commercial Farmer Award delivered 701 bales and Nigel Dziruni who won the Best Small Scale Farmer tobacco grower prize had delivered 135 bales for sale in the 2010-2011 season.

They both walked away with tractors and various farming equipment.