TIMB introduces new tobacco curing system
Harare (New Ziana)-The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) has introduced a Natural Air Curing System (NACS) for farmers to avoid losing marketable volumes of their crop due to barn capacity limitations.
All along, farmers were producing flue-cured tobacco but the crop could ripen all at once and the existing curing facilities might not accommodate all of it.
But now, instead of leaving it to rot in the fields, a farmer can reap their tobacco into the NACS, also called “Chigaffas”.
Once cold colouring is complete, the tobacco can either be moved into brick barns (if they are available) or moved onto racks that have been erected for natural curing/ sun curing.
In a statement, TIMB said Natural Air Curing Systems significantly reduced farmers’ post-harvest yield losses.
“The introduction of this Natural Virginia Tobacco product to the Zimbabwe tobacco industry is in line with the Tobacco Value Chain Transformation Plan, which has the farmer at the core of the transformation and seeks to improve productivity and sustainability.
“By producing Natural Virginia Tobacco, which is a more sustainable product, using more natural systems, we believe the local tobacco industry will generate a wider range of qualities for customers on the global market, creating demand and encouraging investment for the ultimate longevity of the Zimbabwean tobacco industry,” it said.
The board said the objective of the initiative was to explore the potential for more sustainable tobacco production through methodologies which used less fuel and consumed fewer natural resources.
“The introduction of new systems and practices will also aid in addressing side marketing. Farmers’ cost of production will be reduced, increasing profitability, thereby reducing farmer incentive to side market,” said the TIMB.
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