Independent tobacco growers abandon growing tobacco

Most independent tobacco farmers in Eastern Province have abandoned growing tobacco.

Eastern Independent Tobacco Growers Association Chairperson, James Nyirenda says this follows market challenges, which were experienced last season.

Mr. Nyirenda told Breeze News that government through TBZ, Tobacco Board of Zambia needs to move in to stop the tobacco industry from completely collapsing.

He says that TBZ needs to find new companies, which should invest in the tobacco sector because currently there is only one company operating in the region.

And Mr. Nyirenda has paid tribute to TBZ for sourcing for market for the 1.1 million kilogrammes of tobacco, which was stuck in sheds in Chipata due to lack of market.

He says that the move take by TBZ is what farmers expected from the board adding that it has assured farmers that they will receive their payment.

A Malawian company Premium Tama has agreed to buy all the remaining 1.1 million kilogrammes of tobacco although TBZ has registered a huge loss in the transaction.

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