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Water Shortages Affect Zimbabwe Tobacco Farming

Tobacco sales in Harare
This year’s tobacco crop is under serious threat due to water and power shortages.

Tobacco farmers are busy transplanting the irrigated summer crop but many say the crop may wilt because of irrigation water and power shortages.

Farmers who spoke to Studio 7 said continued power cuts by the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority are hitting them hard. The crop requires more water during the transplanting stage.

Resettled Mvurwi farmer Godfrey Hakunamutsa said their local dam is drying up, forcing them to resort to borehole water but power shortages remain a problem.

Over 81,000 farmers registered to grow tobacco this summer, with 20,000 of them being new farmers. At least 13,000 are communal farmers.

Commercial farmer Carver Mapungwana said their anticipated produce will be reduced as tobacco seed beds are wilting due to lack of water.
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