A Headlands farmer is  counting his losses after using a wrong chemical which damaged almost two hectares of his tobacco crop in an attempt to control aphids and budworms.

All was well for Wilson Tsviku’s flourishing tobacco crop until last week when his farm workers applied a wrong chemical which destroyed over two hectares of the gold leaf.

The farmer intended to apply a herbicide called Thunder but his workers mistakenly used a systemic herbicide, Stell Star, which is harmful to the tobacco crop.

“I made a blunder, I gave my workers the wrong chemical which had no label, and they mistakenly applied Stella Star instead of Thunder. My crop was of high quality after putting all the fertilizer and other inputs but all hope is lost because almost over one and half hectares of my tobacco has gone to waste,” narrated Tsviku.

The unfortunate case of this tobacco farmer should provide critical lessons to other farmers to strictly follow instructions and labels on chemical containers and train their workers on the use of herbicides approved by the relevant authorities.

“This is a total loss. We advised the farmer to stop wasting time and resources by applying any fertilisers because the chemical has damaged the crop to an extent that it will not recover. We advise other farmers to learn from this and follow the labels on containers before applying chemicals. This loss is not only to the farmer by to the nation,” TIMB Field Officer, Aid Taruvinga said.

The farmer, who has benefitted under the TIMB inputs support scheme, was expecting about 2800kgs per hectare.

Estimates by TIMB show that the farmer has lost almost 3640kgs of the golden leaf with a market value of about US$13100.