Over 1 million kilograms of tobacco from independent tobacco growers has not yet been bought in Eastern Province.
Tobacco Board of Zambia TBZ Chief Executive Officer, Samson Muyembe however, says that TBZ is negotiating with ZLTC, Zambia Leaf Tobacco Companyto start buying the remaining tobacco.
He revealed this during a News Maker’s Forum organised by the Press Freedom Committee of the Post.
And Mr. Muyembe attributed this year’s poor market for tobacco to China’s decision to reduce its tobacco imports by between 20 and 30 per cent.
Meanwhile, TBZ has come under attack for failing to address the challenges that farmers face when selling their produce.
TBZ Board Member, Ben Mahumbe had a tough time to explain to the famers on the role TBZ plays in the tobacco marketing as the farmers insisted that TBZ has failed to address their challenges.
The farmers then demanded that TBZ starts the role of regulating the tobacco marketing so that the same problems of merchants exploiting farmers, is not repeated in the next marketing season.
They also demanded that the merchants who buy tobacco should be holding meetings with their farmers to listen to their grievances.