Tobacco Exports Earns Zambia US$100 million
TOBACCO exports earned the Zambian market export dollars to the tune of ZMW991million (about US$100 million), almost at the same level of earnings from Sugar exports. This is according to information compiled by ZBT analysis and corroborated to the Central statistical office export data.
Tobacco has made the top five agro export list by value for year ended December 2017, comping out as the third highest export dollars’ earner for Zambia in the Agro space.
Earlier in 2017, then Minister of Agriculture Dora Siliya currently transferred in a cabinet reshuffle as Information Minister, announced in May that Burley Tobacco production had rebounded with about 30% increase is production.
She had announced that Tobacco production had jumped from about 6,500 metric tonnes to about 8, 400 metric tonnes, while Virginia tobacco production largely remaining flat at about 12,000 metric tonnes.
The Tobacco industry in Zambia has received a further boost after the British American Tobacco (BAT) undertook the construction of a USD15million tobacco processing plants in Lusaka South economic zone.
This was followed by another global tobacco company, Roland Imperial tobacco announcing plans to construct a Tobacco processing plant valued at USD150million in Chipata, with construction expected to take off this year 2018.
This industrial buying and processing capacity being created in Zambia following some import taxation changes on finished cigarettes is expected to lead to better value chain creation, market competition and better opportunities for price discovery for farmers in Zambia.
Tobacco is mostly grown by large commercial farmers. But commodity buying companies such as JTI and cooperatives to facilitate better market linkages are being pursued to ensure a sustainable value chain is created from farming, to processing, to marketing and finally to export markets.