The Eastern Fodya Association of Zambia, EFAZ says Eastern Province is likely to produce more tobacco next year.
EFAZ chairperson, Frankline Mwale says more farmers have interest to grow tobacco this year, due to the good prices companies offered during the last marketing season.
Mr. Mwale also says about three companies have so far come on board to sponsor farmers, while another company has signed agreements with independent tobacco growers that it would buy their crop.
He, however, asked government through TBZ, the Tobacco Board of Zambia, to ensure that it starts preparing early enough to buy whatever tobacco would remain with farmers after companies reach their targeted tonnages.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mwale has implored traditional leaders not to allow farmers who grow tobacco but are not interested in planting trees to grow tobacco in their areas.
He says every farmer interested in growing tobacco, must also plant trees in order to help minimize the impact of tobacco growing on forestry.