All tobacco growers are reminded that the Plant Pests and Diseases Act [Chapter 19:08] requires that all tobacco stalks be destroyed by 15th May of every year.
Destruction of stalks helps to reduce carryover of diseases and pests. This is most effective when tobacco stalks are destroyed immediately after the final harvest.
Tobacco growers who fail to destroy tobacco stalks should be reported to Department of Research and Specialist Services (Plant Quarantine Services Institute), AGRITEX, Tobacco Research Board (TRB) or TIMB.
Reports can be made at TIMB regional offices located in Bindura, Mvurwi, Chinhoyi, Karoi, Marondera and Rusape.
Growers should also take note of the following legislated dates:
Earliest date for sowing seed - 1 June
Earliest date for transplanting - 1 September
Last day of destroying all seedbeds - 31 December
For a contravention of regulations requiring the destruction of tobacco plants by a specified date or prohibiting the planting of tobacco plants between specified dates, a grower will be subjected to the following-
a) For a first offence, to a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars for each hectare or part thereof in respect of which the offence is committed or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or to both such fine and such imprisonment:
b) For a second or subsequent conviction, to a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars for each hectare or part thereof in respect of which the offence is committed or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.