The Iranian Tobacco Co. wants to invest in Zimbabwe to reduce the cost associated with buying tobacco through middlemen, reports The Sunday Mail. Among the areas the Iranians are targeting are irrigation, curing and mechanization. They also want to contract with farmers and set up factories in Zimbabwe.
The investments were discussed during a visit to Tehran by a delegation led by Zimbabwe First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa.
“We get our needs through agents, and prices go higher for us and also causing Zimbabwean farmers to have little profit,” said Iran’s vice president of commerce and economy, Hamid Gharesheikh, during the meeting.
“We want to get companies to work with directly in Zimbabwe and do away with middlemen. We are under sanctions, and it’s difficult for us to import from other Western countries, but with Zimbabwe, we have a better understanding and for that, our cooperation will be helpful to both of us. We can also supply you with equipment such as tractors and implements for production. We can also supply dryers for curing and processing,” he said.
The proposed cooperation dovetails with Mnangagwa’s passion to economically empower Zimbabwe’s citizenry, especially women and youths, in the effort to attain upper middle-income status for the country by 2030.
During the meeting, Gharesheikh said Iran would prioritize women in its investments.