The government of Tanzania wants to extend its tobacco market to the Middle East, Northern Africa and eastern Asia, reports All Africa.
The tobacco industry is the largest source of foreign currency in the country, and the minister for agriculture, Adolf Mkenda, has concerns about the current foreign buyers trying to monopolize the crop.
Mkenda stated that the government wanted to export its finest tobacco to China, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Algeria, Egypt and Sudan, among other countries. “The current system is not good,” he said. “Some buyers are skipping locally produced tobacco or demand to buy at a low price … they push farmers to sell their produce to Zambia. For no reason traders go to Zambia to buy the same crop they rejected in Tanzania and at a high price … this is unacceptable.”
Deputy Minister for Agriculture Hussein Bashe said global demand for tobacco declined by 5 percent. He noted, however, that tobacco production in Tanzania is expected to rise to 67,000 metric tons in 2020-2021 from 42,000 metric tons in 2019-2020. “This is due to the emergence of local buyers,” he said.
Of the cigarettes produced in Tanzania, 65 percent are exported to foreign countries.