Local tobacco players embrace value addition before exports

By Tendai Munengwa

PLAYERS in the tobacco value chain have taken heed of government’s value-addition thrust by processing the golden leaf for export.

While government has set the tone for the national tobacco value chain transformation plan, some local players have already started processing tobacco for exports – an area which was in the past reserved for white merchants.

A visit to one of the companies that is into value-addition, Sub Sahara Tobacco, witnessed workers classifying the golden leaf for processing and export with the company’s Director Tapiwa Masedza emphasising the need for value addition.

We are happy with the new policy to implement the tobacco value addition and transformation plan. As you can see here that the process starts by classifying the leaf and then we take it to the next processing stage where it is cut into lamina and cartages ready for cigarettes, then we export with a better value than exporting raw tobacco, he said.

Voedsel Tobacoo Commercial Director Tennyson Hwandi also said his company has moved a gear up in embracing value addition.

We are currently processing using tolling systems and we are in the process of importing our own processing plant for value addition- so this policy to value add is the way to go, noted Hwandi.

The government this week instituted a tobacco value addition and transformation roadmap, which is aimed at localising tobacco financing and transforming the industry into a five billion United States dollar industry by 2025.

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