Sunday, July 27, 2014

(HERALD ZW) EU can’t resist Zim tobacco

January 24, 2014 silence muchemwa Local News
Farai Rugeje Agricultural Reporter

European countries have continued to buy tobacco from Zimbabwe despite imposing illegal economic sanctions on the country. Latest statistics from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board indicate that Belgium, France, Germany, Spain and Netherlands are some of the traditional markets for Zimbabwe’s tobacco.

Belgium has imported 427 000kg of flue-cured tobacco worth US$1,2 million from Zimbabwe at an average price of US$2,77 per kg, while Netherlands has bought 58 000kg worth US$339 000 at an average price of US$5,89 per kg.

France and Germany have bought 45 000kg and 20 000kg worth US$13 300 and US$131 200, respectively.

TIMB statistics have also shown that China remains the top buyer of the Zimbabwean tobacco maintaining the position for consecutive four years.

China is offering US$9,39 per kg.

Zimbabwe exports its semi-processed tobacco to different countries. So far 20 countries including United Arab Emirates, Poland, Sudan, South Africa, Botswana, Montenegro and Russia.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union vice president Johnson Mapira said it was important for Zimbabwe to process tobacco instead of continuing to sell raw leaf.

“We should add value to our tobacco by processing it locally into finished products such as cigarettes. We are losing a lot of money in trading in unprocessed leaf,” he said.

He urged Government to continuously assist upcoming entrepreneurs to explore opportunities in the value addition process of tobacco.

“This will enable to create job opportunities for the youths,” he said.

Agriculture experts advised farmers to produce high quality tobacco that can fetch high prices on the market and attract many countries willing to import the crop.

Cumulative tobacco experts have raked in US$21,1 million from the sale of 4,2 million kg of flue cured tobacco.

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