- Replace woodlots being depleted through cutting down of trees for curing purposes.
- Ensure sustainable use of cheap curing fuel
- Responsible farming
- Reduce damage on existing forest areas
- Increase compliance tobacco
- Respect the environment and ecosystem
- To ensure that each tobacco growing farmer has equivalent of wood supply for each hectare grown.
- Form partnerships with local communities on tree conservation
In fulfilling these above objectives conservation of natural resources and the issue of compliance so much sought by the international world will be encompassed to safeguard our much needed markets.
Zimbabwe Tobacco Association (ZTA) together with Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) re-initiated the gum seedlings project in 2014 where by suitable producers were identified in the districts for the production of eucalyptus camaldulensis seedlings. A total of 252 200 gum seedlings were produced in Madziwa, Karoi, Odzi, Macheke, MT Darwin, Rusape and Marondera areas.
ZTA and TIMB growers were allocated 450 seedlings each enough to do 0, 3 of a hectare that ultimately cures 1 hectare of tobacco crop. Five hundred and fifty growers benefited. Field days to create awareness on the program both to the growers and stakeholders were done in Rusape and Karoi with huge attendances.
This year 2015 season a programme targeting 6 million seedlings has been ear marked for production in all tobacco growing districts with a large population of tobacco producers expecting to benefit. Also the chiefs which are the custodian of land will not be left out and will, depending on their needs be catered for. This has been aided by the 1.5 % tobacco afforestation levy and producers have been identified in all parts of tobacco producing areas. The program is expected to commence this month of May with sourcing of seed, planting pockets and construction of sheds. In July/August sowing will commence while the following months will entail thinning and watering. There after the focus of attention being on nursery management. In December to January distribution of 300 seedlings to each bona fide tobacco growers, at no cost or institutions who have the land to plant will be done. Chiefs in local areas will be allocated as per request and requirements. All trees distributed will be mapped using satellite imagery. At least 20,000 growers are expected to benefit from the programme.
Forest Officers duties will include oversee establishment of tree nurseries by out growers, identification of nursery sites in tobacco districts, oversee management of seedlings and nurseries of out-growers, advise and consult out-growers, work with rural district council, Forestry Commission and communities on forestation initiatives and formulate education programmes on tree conservation