TBZ supports new SIs on tobacco

By Staff Reporter

THE Tobacco Board of Zambia (TBZ) has come out in full support of the new statutory instruments number 84 and 85, which ban tobacco companies from running sales floors.

TBZ Chief Executive Officer James Kasongo said the SIs were meant to enhance the livelihood of the farmers and not just the tobacco companies.

Kasongo said a lot of tobacco companies were exploiting tobacco farmers in the country before the introduction of the two statutory instruments.

“Other than ensuring that there is transparency in the way tobacco buyers conduct their business, the two statutory instruments will also ensure that independent tobacco farmers have a guaranteed market,” said Kasongo.

He explained that under the two statutory instruments, tobacco companies would be required to buy 20% of their tobacco from independent growers.

“It is therefore, disappointing that some individuals would want to support tobacco companies instead of supporting the statutory instruments, which will help tobacco farmers graduate from perpetual debt,” he said.

Kasongo has since called on tobacco farmers across the country to embrace the two statutory instruments as they are meant to help them realize profits from their farming activities.