Tree levy opposed

| February 6, 2018

Zimbabwe’s Federation of Farmers Union chairman Charles Chabikwa has said that tobacco farmers are threatening to boycott a reforestation levy ahead of the opening of the 2018 marketing season, according to a Newsday Zimbabwe story relayed by the TMA.

From January 2015, the government introduced a levy on all tobacco sales at a rate of 1.5 percent in the first year and 0.75 percent in subsequent years as part of a sustainability initiative aimed at funding the planting of trees to replace those burned as fuel in curing tobacco.

“The levy has been in effect for three years, with close to US$20 million collected from farmers and not a single tree seedling has been planted or sustainable tobacco curing projects embarked on,” said Zimbabwe Tobacco Association chief executive, Rodney Ambrose.

“It is our view that the levy should be removed effective this 2018 season and the funds accumulated to date first accounted for and utilised by farmer stakeholders.”

The Tobacco Industry Marketing board said of the US$19 million collected since 2015, US$4 million was in the board’s account.


Category: Breaking News, Leaf, Sustainability

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