Zimbabwe has launched its first ever tobacco Expo in Karoi, Hurungwe district. Officiating at the event, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Mashonaland West province, Mary Mliswa-Chikoka represented by the Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development Ministry acting provincial director, Mrs Evelyn Ndoro said the first-ever National Tobacco Expo was a milestone event that seeks to exhibit the hard work and commitment by smallholder tobacco farmers.
The Expo which was bankrolled by various stakeholders ran under the theme: ‘Promoting Sustainable Tobacco Farming and Production of Alternative Crop.” It was initiated by the Mashonaland West Agriculture Show Society designed to allow various exhibitors to showcase products and services to farmers who are ready to buy in preparation for the next season.
Land Reform programme
At least 20 companies exhibited at the Expo. Tobacco farmers had the opportunity to see and test the latest products, services and innovations available on the market. Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) board chairman, Mr Ivan Craig said Hurungwe was supposed to host the country’s national tobacco Expo annually as evidenced by its productions.
“The Expo speaks of the successes of the Land Reform programme, of the milestones that President Emmerson Mnangagwa and His Government have achieved in promoting Agriculture and in this case, particularly tobacco farming,” said Minister Mliswa-Chikoka.
Tobacco is the second major foreign currency earner for the country after gold. Zimbabwe, which has been growing tobacco for more than 100 years, is Africa’s top producer and sixth in the world. Hurungwe is the nation’s biggest tobacco-producing district contributing at least 30% of the national yield.