Problems for tobacco sponsored farmers in Eastern Province deepen.

Sponsored tobacco farmers under Alliance One Zambia in Eastern Province are reported to be in a dilemma after the company pulled out without notice.
And political interference, lack of government involvement and lack of investment have contributed to the falling tobacco industry in Eastern Province.
Speaking on a live radio programme last evening, former EFAZ, Eastern Fodya Association of Zambia vice chairperson, Chishala Chilufya revealed that farmer’s investment has gone to waste.
Mr. Chilufya says that some sponsored farmers went into a business deal with Alliance One where they have put up curing bans worth thousands of Kwacha and are wondering what will happen to it.
He says that there is need for government to quickly move in and establish reasons why Alliance One has pulled out from Eastern Province.
Meanwhile Mr. Chilufya says that politicians should desist from meddling in the affairs of the agriculture sector especially tobacco, cotton and maize.
He says that careless political statements scare away investors while poor policy decisions made by councils like banning EFAZ from running tobacco floors have had negative impacts on the tobacco industry.
Mr. Chilufya also indicted that it was easy for tobacco companies to relocate from Zambia because they have not invested in processing plants like they have done in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

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