Phase-out of methyl bromide in tobacco
Zimbabwe is an important consumer of methyl bromide in Africa, particularly for soil fumigation of tobacco and horticultural products. The quality of tobacco produced and exported depends on the quality of seedlings and Methyl Bromide is used to protect tobacco seedlings from a large number of different pests.
The Government of Zimbabwe, working through the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, has undertaken to phase-out the use of methyl bromide in tobacco seedlings by end of 2009/10.
An environmentally friendly “Floating Tray” technology will be adopted as a replacement technology. The Floating Tray technology also enhances productivity of tobacco farmers and is frequently used in other tobacco producing countries with ongoing methyl bromide phase-out projects such as Brazil, China, Cuba, Croatia and Macedonia.
The project enables Zimbabwe to fulfil its obligation under the Montreal Protocol five years before its deadline for methyl bromide phase-out of 2015. This project is being implemented in partnership with the Tobacco Research Board, a quasi government organization.