MORE than 100 small-scale tobacco farmers in Marondera East constituency were left counting their losses over the weekend after a hailstorm hit the area destroying about 150 hectares of the golden leaf.
BY Jairos Saunyama
Marondera East MP Jeremiah Chiwetu confirmed the destruction and said some farmers were in dire need of assistance as their crop was not insured.
“It is a disaster and I can confirm that so far 127 families have lost their tobacco in a hailstorm that swept across this area recently,” Chiwetu said.
“I am not sure about the number of hectares affected, but most farmers here do plant tobacco on 1ha or 2ha pieces of land, and by way of estimating I can say we lost about 150ha of matured tobacco.
“It is a pity and we have farmers who need assistance for they have no irrigation to augment their losses.
“Fortunately, the other side has an irrigation scheme and the farmers here if given inputs are planning to plant beans to recover costs and sustain their families.”
Mashonaland East provincial principal Agritex officer Walter Mugabe said he could not readily give estimates of the destroyed crop.