Friday, 20 August 2010


HUNDREDS of rubber plants worth millions of kwacha have been destroyed at the plantation in Kawambwa district after unknown people set fire at the plantation recently.
And Kawambwa District forestry office says it needs about 4,000 rubber seedlings to replace those destroyed in an inferno.
District forestry officer (DFO), Absalom Sakala confirmed the development in Kawambwa yesterday when he visited the plantation to assess the situation.
The rubber trees badly burnt include 1,600 and 680 plants that were planted in 2009 and 2005 respectively.
Mr. Sakala says the incident is bad because his office will have to look for thousands of seedlings to replace those that have been destroyed by fire instead of expanding hectarage.
He said it is sad that even some plants that were planted five years ago and had started growing have been burnt because of some people’s bad attitude in the area.
Mr. Sakala said the plants once looked after properly can create employment among the people and bring development to the area.
The forestry officer has appealed to the community in the area to change their attitude and support the project instead of destroying.
Mr. Sakala said rubber growing is potential in the area while the quality of the product is good.
Meanwhile, thousands of rubber plants have gone to waste at the nursery in tea estate area because they have not been transplanted since they were brought in 2005.
Rubber nursery caretaker, Andrew Yengayenga told ZANIS in Kawambwa yesterday that the plants have not been transplanted since 2005 after some officials from rubber plantation office on the Copperbelt brought them.
Mr. Yengayenga said many rubber plants have since died while those that are still at the nursery cannot grow properly because they are closer to one another.
At least 130,000 hectares of land has been allocated for rubber tree growing in Kawambwa district.
And 510 rubber trees that were planted in 1990 have fully grown up and are ready for harvest.

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