Zambia has produced over 30 million kilograms of tobacco.
This beats the 2016/2017 record of 23 million kilograms.
Agriculture Minister Michael Katambo says despite the increase, the tobacco industry is still lagging behind in comparison with countries like Zimbabwe and Malawi.
Mr. Katambo said this in a speech read for him by Deputy Director of Agriculture in the Ministry of Agriculture Alick Daka.
This was during the 2017/18 Tobacco Marketing Review Meeting in Lusaka.
Mr. Katambo said there is need for Zambia to improve tobacco production and productivity so that it can contribute significantly to the country’s economy.
Meanwhile, Mr. Katambo has called on merchants in the tobacco industry to quickly pay the levies they owe government.
Government is owed about 10 million Kwacha by Tobacco merchants.
And, Tobacco Board of Zambia (TBZ) Chief Executive Officer James Kasongo has called for discipline among stakeholders in the Tobacco industry.
MEANWHILE, a Tobacco farmer, Given Mung’omba has called on government to engage the Chinese government so that Zambia can sale its tobacco directly to China.
Mr. Mungomba said China has the largest tobacco market in the world and that countries like Zimbabwe have tobacco trade agreements with Chinese companies that are offering lucrative markets.