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Zimbabwe district council gets tough on tobacco growers and contractors

| March 5, 2014

All tobacco companies operating in Zimbabwe’s Hurungwe district will be required from the next tobacco growing season to sign with Hurungwe Rural District Council (HRDC) a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regulating their operations, according to a story in The Herald.

This follows concerns that tobacco contractors and farmers have not been complying with council bylaws and the tenets of corporate social responsibility.

The HRDC chief executive officer, Joram Moyo, said that tobacco farming was having a negative impact on the district’s environment and, in particular, on its forests as wood was cut for curing leaf.

In part, the MOU will require farmers to use coal for curing their tobacco or to establish a woodlot as a curing resource.

Meanwhile, Hurungwe District Administrator Tsana Chirau said that though contractors were raking in huge profits, they were not forthcoming in fulfilling their corporate social obligations.

She said that despite the fact that farmers were exposed to dangerous chemicals, contractors had not come up with programs to assist the area’s clinics, some of which were facing drugs and equipment shortages.

According to the Herald, the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board puts the number of registered tobacco growers in Hurungwe at more than 22,000.

Category: Breaking News

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