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TSL sets sights on combatting deforestation through sustainable tobacco curing method

 

The Environment - TSL, a leading player in Zimbabwe’s tobacco industry, is pioneering a ground-breaking approach to tobacco curing aimed at mitigating the environmental impact of traditional methods, which rely on wood fires and contribute to deforestation.

Despite the significant economic contribution of tobacco to Zimbabwe’s exports, the conventional curing process has posed environmental challenges, particularly deforestation. This has raised concerns among environmental experts due to its adverse effects on forest cover, soil erosion, and climate change.

In response, TSL CEO Dereck Odeteye announced a new initiative to promote sustainable tobacco curing practices. The company is developing an innovative multi-fuel curing system that reduces reliance on wood and incorporates alternative energy sources such as biogas.

The introduction of the Natural Air Curing System by Zimbabwe’s Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board represents a significant step towards sustainability. NACS eliminates the need for wood-fired curing barns by utilising natural air circulation to dry tobacco leaves. Temporary structures known as chigaffas further facilitate the natural drying process.

The adoption of NACS offers several advantages, including reduced deforestation, conservation of Zimbabwe’s forests, and enhanced sustainability in tobacco production. Zimbabwe has also taken proactive measures to address deforestation, including afforestation initiatives aimed at planting 25 million trees by 2022. Additionally, the government is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030.

TSL’s efforts to implement sustainable curing methods underscore its commitment to environmental responsibility and contribute to Zimbabwe’s broader goals of conservation and climate action.

 

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