Zambia: Farmers Union welcomes move to bring harmony to the Tobacco Industry
March 18, 2019: The Zambia National Farmers Union has welcomed, Agriculture Minister Michael Katambo’s directive to his Permanent Secretary Songowayo Zyambo to immediately start the process of reviewing the laws governing the Tobacco sector to bring harmony to the industry.
Mr. Katambo directed Mr. Zyambo to immediately embark on a process of reviewing Statutory Instruments 67, 84 and 85 in full consultation with all stakeholders as he is in the process of putting in place the appropriate Board of Directors for TBZ.
ZNFU President Jarvis Zimba said the Zambia National Farmers’ Union has welcomed Government position to rise above seemingly insurmountable challenges affecting the entire tobacco value chain.
He said Farmers are elated that tobacco marketing will soon open for them to begin selling the crop which was stuck on farm.
Mr. Zimba further said that the reopening of consultations on the Statutory Instruments and review of the Tobacco legislation by Government should bring together consensus among all players in the tobacco industry and with Government.
He said the diversification of the Zambian economy is not just an option but it is a make or break situation and is dependent upon vital sectors such as agriculture which is a springboard of many industries through value addition, suppliers of agro-services, transporters, the banks and many more.
Mr. Zimba said a booming agriculture sector is a source of income to its people and to the Zambian economy and the action taken by Government is timely and gives an opportunity to all parties to invest in meaningful dialogue.
He said the Zambia National Farmers’ Union as an organization representing all farmers in the country from small scale, emergent and large scale is committed to the process of dialogue unequivocally.
“We will work hard to bring on board the tobacco growers of all sizes and those dealing with the growers to participate in the review process of the laws so that a firm foundation is in place. We are keen to perform this role because we know that when the tobacco industry collapses, farmers stand to lose out and poverty is highest in the rural areas”, he added.