BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
Tobacco contracting company, Ethical Leaf Tobacco (ELT), has honoured the Headlands and Macheke farming communities by donating an assortment of personal protective equipment [PPE] to Namie Clinic.
The health centre serves both communities as it is located at the border of Mashonaland East and Manicaland provinces.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, ELT general manager Andrew Mupfawa said it was part of the company’s corporate social responsibility programme to plough back to the community, especially during this time of a health crisis.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has become a national crisis and we realise that PPE for frontline workers like our health personnel is essential, therefore, we are complementing government efforts, especially in rural areas, in fighting the pandemic,” said Mupfawa.
“Our vision has always been and will always be the empowerment of smallholder farmers socially and economically. We will continue to do more for our farmers and find ways of harmoniously working together in such restrictive environments caused by the Covid-19 pandemic”
The handover ceremony was graced by the area’s legislator Christopher Chingosho.
The tobacco company, which was formed in 2015, last year bought around 4,5 million kilogrammes and this year is mulling at buying seven million kilogrammes of the golden leaf.
“We strongly believe in the development of smallholder farmers in the rural communities through our grower contracting model. This tobacco season, we launched a historical $660m input scheme, which will give us over seven million kilogrammes of tobacco nationwide,” Mupfawa said.
“Our company has over 7 000 growers scattered across Zimbabwe. In Mashonaland East and Manicaland provinces we have over 2 000 farmers contracted to ELT. ”
In a move meant to ease the burden of travelling to sales floor in Harare, the company will this year open a new sales floor in Marondera that will cater for farmers in Manicaland and Mashonaland East provinces.