Zimbabwe will this month host an inaugural tobacco business conference aimed at assisting tobacco farmers enhance production and boost their businesses. The event comes as tobacco farmers are now preparing their crop for the selling season which begins in a few weeks. Cardinal Chartered Accountants (Zimbabwe) chief executive Mr Ericanos Matukudure said the conference set for next week seeks to influence tobacco farmers to treat farming as a business.
“The tobacco industry is a multi-million dollar business and should be treated as such if farmers want to reap maximum benefits from their produce,” he said.
“The tendency by growers, especially small scale farmers, to spend the bulk of their earnings from the sale of their tobacco on non-capital goods such as wardrobes and other household property at the expense of inputs is detrimental to the growth of the business.
“What we are doing is to bring the farmers, especially commercial farmers, together with technical, financial, weather, research and agricultural experts as well as the Ministry and regulators under one roof so that they get the total package.”
Mr Matukudure said the conference seeks to cover critical aspects key to tobacco production.
“We have tried to get experts that are involved right from the planting, nurturing, reaping to marketing of the crop,” he said.
The conference, which will run under the theme ‘Harnessing the tobacco farming business for economic turnaround and economic growth’, will be headlined by Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Chief Air Marshal (Retired) Perrance Shiri.
Other speakers include Tobacco Industry Marketing Board chief executive Dr Andrew Matibiri and Providence Human Capital managing director Chipo Ndudzo, amongst others.