Farmers grateful for tobacco schemes

Farmers in Chief Svosve area said that since government did not fund their farming activities, they were grateful for the contracted tobacco farming project run by Mashonaland Tobacco Company.

MTC provided tobacco farmers with material loans which can be re-paid when farmers have sold the crop at the auction floors next year.

“I am most grateful for the assistance I got from MTC tobacco funding project. The project supplied me with 30 bags of fertilizer, coal for the tobacco curing process, pesticides and other necessities. I will pay back the loan after selling the harvested crop early next year,” said a new farmer from Madhururu Farm who identified himself as Ngorima.

A project officer with MTC, who did not want to be identified, said: “MTC’s main objective was to empower the new farmer through friendly sponsorships. The main requirement for someone to qualify as a beneficiary of the project was proof that the farmer had tobacco seedlings ready for the 2011-2012 farming season. Everything else was the responsibility of MTC”.

Though some farmers cried foul when previous farming contracts turned out badly, others commended the loan scheme as the only way for struggling new farming communities to survive.

“We have witnessed some of the new farmers grow into successful tobacco farmers through contract farming schemes. Others have since become self-sustained as they managed to buy own farm equipment such as tractors, trucks, farm mobile water tanks and other necessities,” said a new A1 farmer at Jani Farm.

Post published in: Agriculture

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