Business - Featured - November 30, 2020

Value addition of tobacco increases output: Dr Nzenza

The government will roll out the Tobacco Value Addition Strategy in line with Zimbabwe National Industrial Development Policy (2019-2023), the development of the tobacco value chain is strategically aligned with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), Business Mail reports.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa launched an economic blueprint the NDS1 with the objectives to accelerate economic growth, improve the public sector and strategic infrastructure such as the agriculture sector among others.

Speaking at a tour at Mosi Oa Tunya Cigars, Minister of Industry and Commerce Dr. Sekai Nzenza said the government is always ready to give support to the development of the tobacco value chain as it is critical in boosting the value addition of tobacco and export earnings for the country.

Mosi Oa Tunya is Zimbabwean’s first-ever cigar manufacturing company launched in May 2020 by a Zimbabwean entrepreneur Shep Mafundikwa.

“Our research shows that the global tobacco market size was valued at US$849.09 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach US$878.35 billion in 2020 and projected to reach US$1.08 trillion by 2027,” Dr. Nzenza said.

“Value addition of tobacco is a key factor to realise Vision 2030,” she said.

“The global tobacco market is gaining momentum and witnessing a high demand owing to rising consumer disposable income, increasing number of product launches, and availability of superior-quality products,” she said.

Dr. Nzenza said they have received the Mosi Oa Tunya Cigars company’s request for support to access funds under the COVID-19 Stimulus Package, the company was guaranteed that his ministry will support in this and other areas where possible.

Dr. Frank Magama Chairman of Mosi oa Tunya who is the head of Plan Breeding Tobacco Research Board welcomes the government initiative to access the funds.

“We are happy that the government will help us so that we can start to produce the other raw materials that we are importing,” Dr. Magama said.

Tobacco production has been on an upward trend reaching 259.4 million kgs in 2019.

There is a need to increase local financing of tobacco farming, boost production levels of tobacco processors, cigarette and cigar manufacturers, attract new investment, and secure export markets.

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