bags of fertilisers 2 -04-08-10.jpgA local financial institution has unveiled a US$ 2 million fertilizer input scheme for tobacco farmers for the 2010/11 summer cropping season.

 

Under the pilot phase of the fertilizer inputs supply program which was launched at Mount Hampden, 67 500 tobacco farmers will  each receive 500 kilograms of fertilizer.

 

Mashonaland West and Mashonaland East province will receive 90 000 tonnes each, Mashonaland Central 120 000 tonnes while Manicaland province will get 30 000 tonnes.

 

The inputs scheme is a result of a partnership between Interfin Group and the Zimbabwe Progressive Tobacco Farmers Union (ZPTFU) which was formed last year.

 

Interfin Banking Coprporation, General Manger for Corporate Banking Mr. Ennocent Chidawanyika said the bank unveiled the inputs package to tobacco following good proposals from the ZPFTU highlighting that the onus is now on farmers to deliver good crops.
 
“These 335 000 tonnes of fertilizer are valued at 230 000 million dollars and we came up with this after a good proposal from the ZPFTU,’’ said Mr. Chidawanika.

 

ZPFTU patron, who is also Media Information and Publicity Minister Cde Webster Shamu, said the move to finance tobacco farmers is a major boost for the land reform program and farmers who have been facing challenges in accessing finance and will help make this season positive.

 

“ Let’s keep working together for the good of the country,”added Cde Shamu.

 

The Zimbabwe Progressive Tobacco Farmers Union was formed to represent small holder tobacco farmers early this year after the Head of State and Government and Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces President Robert Mugabe visited the auction floors and addressed farmers.

The farmers had been facing a myriad of challenges including lack of inputs, low producer prices and poor trading conditions at auction floors.

 

Tobacco output this year reached 118 million kilograms accounting for the major share of agriculture’s 39.3 % contribution to the country’s 8.1 % growth.