Tobacco cultivation vital for Zambia- Nyambe
Choma, February 15, 2013, ZANIS — Choma District Commissioner Golden Nyambe says government recognizes tobacco’s immerse contribution to the gross domestic product and employment creation.
Mr. Nyambe noted that tobacco cultivation is critical for Zambia’s economy as it has been one of the agricultural activities to remain buoyant during the recent worldwide crises.
The district commissioner who was speaking in a speech ready on his behalf by Choma district agricultural coordinator Goliath Choye said over 23,000 rural families rely on tobacco growing while 40,000 workers are directly employed in tobacco growing.
Mr. Nyambe was speaking when he addressed farmers and agriculture stakeholders at Popota Tobacco College in Choma after a tour of demonstration plots during a field day organized by Zambian Fertilizers.
He explained that Zambia last season produced more than 40 million kilogrammes of tobacco with export recovery estimated valued at more than US$ 131 million.
Mr. Nyambe clarified that tobacco is a very important and specialized export crop hence farmers need specialized knowledge and skills to successfully grow it.
He called on Popota tobacco college an institution specialized in training students in tobacco production and Zambian fertilizers to carry out demonstrations in order to determine the response of flue cured Virginia tobacco to different B- compound fertilizers in order to optimize tobacco yield and grade.
Mr. Nyambe further stated that the transfer of agriculture technologies in tobacco production through demonstration plots will enable students at Popota College and farmers to be better equipped with vital knowledge and skill required to grow tobacco.
He pointed out that his office will dialogue with Zambian fertilizers and Popota Tobacco College to see how the community, workers, staff and farmers involved in growing tobacco and other crops can acquire fertilizer on loan from Zambian fertilizers.