The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) has extended the tobacco inputs credit scheme to over 1 000 youths to grow the golden leaf under the banner ‘Young Farmers Club’.

The youths identified under the club in tobacco greenbelts will benefit from the TIMB tobacco credit scheme programme launched in Muzarabani.

The young farmers’ representatives hailed the initiative that will avail inputs for one hectare including 10 bags of fertiliser, land pack chemicals, bailing material and working capital.

“This arrangement is going be a game changer, bringing the programme to the grassroots will enable easy and cheaper access to the youths. We applaud TIMB, and the new dispensation at large which also launched Empower Bank for youth to get loans to kick start income generating projects,” a youth representative in Muzarabani.

The tobacco inputs credit scheme has so far funded over 11 000 hectares against a target of 40 000 hectares this year.

Tobacco production hit a new record of 250 million kilogrammes, the highest since independence, this 2018 season and expectations are that the timely disbursement of inputs will increase output to rake in a projected one and a half billion dollars in foreign currency earnings next year.