via Zim, China mull tobacco processing plant | The Herald August 6, 2014
Zimbabwe and China are planning to establish a multi-million dollar tobacco processing plant that will see the country exporting more processed tobacco products in line with the country’s economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset).
In an interview after receiving a high powered delegation from the Chinese tobacco industry at Harare International Airport on Sunday, Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) chairperson Mrs Monica Chinamasa said the visitors would also explore other areas of business co-operation.
“The visit will allow us to talk to our Chinese counterparts about value addition. We want to have a joint venture with them on cigarette making. We want to talk to them to assist us set up this in line with our economic blueprint, the Zim-Asset,” Mrs Chinamasa said.
She said they also wanted the Chinese to assist Zimbabwe explore new tobacco markets.
The seven member delegation, led by State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA) chief commissioner, Mr Lin Chengxing has since returned to China after its two-day working visit.
The STMA is a governmental body responsible for the overall management of China’s tobacco industry including growing, purchase of tobacco leaf, manufacture and distribution of cigarettes and import and export businesses.
Other members of the delegation were China Leaf Tobacco Company president Mr Chen Jianghua, China Tobacco Machinery Group Company president Mr Wang Jianfa, China Tobacco International deputy general manager Mr Gao Xuelin and three officials from the Foreign Affairs department.
Meanwhile, contract purchases of virginia tobacco are increasing with at least 163,7 million kg having been delivered by Friday last week taking the seasonal total to 214,2 million.
The 163,7 million kg was bought for $542,7 million at an average price of $3,32 per kilogramme.
During the same period last year contractors purchased 110,3 million kg at an average price of $3,76 per kg.
According to the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board most contractors have concluded their purchases except a few who are still finalising their purchases.
Contract sales now account for 76 percent of total deliveries this season while the balance of 24 percent came through auction sales.
In terms of contract sales the bulk of the crop came from A2 resettlement farmers who supplied 30 percent of the crop followed by A1 farmers with 20 percent, communal 18 percent and small-scale commercial 8 percent.
The bulk of the crop submitted under auction sales came from communal farmers 10 percent, A1 farmers 9 percent, A2 farmers 4 percent and small-scale farmers 2 percent.
The number of farmers registering for the season continues to increase with the latest figures showing that the figure is now about 106 456 growers have registered for 2014 season compared to about 91 278 who had registered by the same period last year.
The bulk of the registered growers are communal farmers at 48 292 followed by A1 farmers 37 805, A2 farmers 11 720 and small-scale commercial farmers 8 639.
There has been phenomenal recovery in the production of the golden leaf since production plunged from an all time high of 236,6 million kg in 2000 to an all time production low of 48 million kilograms in 2008.
Tobacco is now one of the country’s top foreign currency earners.
It is also one of the key crops that are expected to anchor the nine percent growth in agriculture this year within the framework of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation.