Why It Matters

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Why It Matters

Indigenous woodlands and exotic forests play a critical role in sustaining people’s health and livelihoods, employment creation, provision of essential environmental services and contribute to the economy.  Deforestation reduces the availability of these essential benefits to both the present and future generations. Forestry Commission estimates that Zimbabwe loses 300,000 ha of woodlands annually and that 15% of this deforestation rate is as a result of tobacco curing.

 

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Indigenous firewood is being depleted fast for domestic use
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Deforestation in Pfura district

SAA plans to plant about 5,000ha annually. Even this ambitious target will not be enough to cure the 200 million kilogrammes of tobacco that are produced annually, so additional solutions are urgently needed. Coal is available, but it is not sustainable, and unless furnaces have electrically powered fans to assist combustion, it is expensive and inefficient. SAA has, therefore, started work to evaluate the use of bio-gas, ethanol and solar energy in curing, and will be looking for ways to manage existing commercial and indigenous woodlands sustainably to supply the balance.