Zambia expects to increase its tobacco harvest by a quarter and generate $92 million from leaf sales at the close of the marketing season in September, reports Farmers Review Africa.
By Aug. 12, the country’s tobacco growers had sold 35 million kg of leaf through the approval sales floors against projected sales of 33 million kg. Flue-cured Virginia accounted for 27 million kg and burley represented 6 million kg of the leaf sales.
Agriculture Minister Reuben Mtolo told the International Tobacco Growers Association’s Africa Congress in Lusaka on Aug. 24 that the sector had performed well during the season despite various headwinds coupled with low investment.
He said the government is committed to creating an investment-friendly environment.
“The government is now in the process of enacting a new legal framework for the industry that will bring about effective regulation and foresee improved private stakeholder participation across the tobacco value chain,” said Mtolo.
Zambia’s eighth national development plan emphasizes crop diversification and increasing profitability among all actors within the value chain.