Environment & Climate Change

Tobacco curing process fueling deforestation in Zimbabwe


The National Tree Planting Day in Zimbabwe came at a time when the country is experiencing excessive felling of trees for tobacco curing on most farms, where trees are felled at an alarming rate if no corrective measures are not undertaken by the government.

“The main purpose of this day is to motivate the nation to plant,  care for and conserve trees, as a way of ensuring the sustainability in the management and utilization of our forest resources. This is critical for the enhancement of biodiversity and household food security as the tree planting season kicks off at the onset of the rains till the end of the season. This is done to take advantage of the abundant soil moisture in order to plant trees extensively “, said an officer from the Forest Commission.

Tree planting is also undertaken to replenish the forest resources in view of the rate of deforestation that is taking place at an alarming rate claiming an estimated 330 000 hectares of forest every year in Zimbabwe.

This year’s theme is “Fruit Trees for Food Security and Nutrition”, as the theme supports the nationwide production and planting of fruit trees. Exotic trees are valued for their various economic uses, so indigenous trees species remain important for their economic attributes and how they define a country and support greater biological diversity. The Tree of the Year is The African Ebony’, in Shona, Musuma.


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