joseoh made 09-11-10 ed.jpgThe Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Dr Joseph Made, has urged stakeholders involved in the marketing of tobacco, to put in place measures to avoid inconveniences to farmers marketing their crop this season.

With less than a month left before the tobacco auction floors officially open for business on the 16th of next month, stakeholders involved in the marketing of the golden leaf have been urged to come up with a roadmap that will lessen the farmers’ burden.

Speaking after a tour of a farm owned by Mike Chidziva in Beatrice, Dr Made said there is need for mechanisms to be put in place to avoid chaos at the floors as experienced in the previous seasons.

“We are saying the TIMB should first of all consider opening the market to those farmers who are registered accordingly. We don’t want the auction floors to be congested like what has been happening in the previous seasons. This time around we don’t want to disappoint.,” he said.

Cde Chidziva said in as much as he has managed to get a good yield of tobacco this farming season, his greatest challenge is now on the curing of the crop as electricity is continuously out, calling for the Minister of Energy and Power Development , Mr Elton Mangoma, to come up with a strategy to assist farmers.

“ZESA is always out and yet it is essential in the curing of my crop. Diesel is another problem and these days its scarce, otherwise I could have used the generator over there. We are saying to the minister responsible, he has to come down to the people and see things first hand,” he said.

Zimbabwe Entrepreneurs’ Youth Action (ZEYA) President, Cde Munyaradzi Kashambe, who was part of the minister’s delegation said the results of work by Cde Chidziva, is indicative that black people can be masters of their own destiny, in all sectors of the economy.

“What we saw today is a testimony of how black people can remove the colonial mentality that black people are only good when they are slaves. If a black man can do these wonders on the farms, what is stopping us to translate this in the industry through indigenisation and empowerment,” he said.

Agriculture remains the back-bone of Zimbabwe’s economy, with tobacco contributing significantly towards the sector.

This year the government has estimated a yield of about 160 million kgs from the 78 000 hectares cultivated, up from the 123 million kgs gained from 67 000 hactares last year.