Farmer's Voice

Zambia: Country Projected To Harvest 45 Million Kgs Of Tobacco In 2014 Season

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Zambia's Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Wylbur Simuusa said the country is projected to harvest 45 million kgs of tobacco worth 750 million kwacha (US$ 121.2 mn) in the 2014 season, compared to 41.4 million kgs of leaf valued at about 711.3 million kwacha (US$ 114.9 mn) produced in the 2013 season. Simuusa mandated the Tobacco Board of Zambia (TBZ) and not the Eastern Fodya Association of Zambia to run the floors in Eastern Province.

Simuusa said tobacco farmers and stakeholders in Eastern Province should form an association to run local tobacco floors in 2015, adding that other Provinces has associations to run their floors. He urged growers to double their efforts to increase domestic leaf production to more than 100 million kg in the next five years. TBZ Chairperson Reuben Mahombe said tobacco is a major source of income especially for small scale growers in Eastern Province, adding that TBZ has been running tobacco auction floors in the Province since 2011 because there is no local association to manage the floors. Mahombe said TBZ plans to construct a tobacco processing plant in Chipata (Lusaka Times 4/18).