JAPANESE Tobacco International has launched an agroforestry project in Kaoma aimed at replenishing the fast depleting natural resources.
Acting Kaoma district commissionernAlbertina Mwanamwalye said JTI was changing the lives of people in the area through its direct concentrated small -scale tobacco farmers.
she said this during the launch of a tree planting competition at Nkeyema primary school yesterday. She explained that by providing farmers with input and numerous extension field services, the farmers had doubled their yields from the hectares previously cultivated the partnership with JTI.
“The launch is a welcome initiative as it will greatly contribute to efforts aimed at helping tobacco farmers in its supply Chain look after their environment,” she noted.
she further said that the ministry of education should consider such political initiatives as tree planting to be part of the environment studies syllabus.
“The children will one day grow up to become farmers and the knowledge of planting trees that they are going to acquire through this competition, will make a difference in shaping them into becoming environmentally conscious farmers,” she said. She explained that there had been a lot of pressure on trees across the country in the wake of load sheding which has led to an increase in the demand for charcoal thereby posing a threat on trees.
Meanwhile JTI forestry supervisor Monckton Soko said over 2 million tree seedlings had been distributed and planted by growers in Nkeyema and Kaoma.
“JTI management decided that the school that will emerge from the tree planting competition with the highest number of surviving trees after one year will win a mobile library comprising various learning aids and reading materials including electronic games,” said Mr Soko.