Tobacco Brings in More Forex Than Copper-Chilufya

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A tobbaco farmer has called on the Ministry of Health to distance itself from discussions surrounding the tobbaco industry as they have proven to have little knowledge and no capacity to adequately deal with issues related to the industry.

Speaking during “Let the People Talk” radio program where he featured with Tobbaco Board of Zambia Board Member and Nkeyema MP Kapelwa Mbangweta, Chilufya Chishala who is also National Chairperson for Agriculture in the MMD said the Ministry of Health, said that the Ministry of Health is just an arm of government which should not make decisions which borders on the country’s economy without adequate consultations with other stakeholders.

He observed that discussions on the Tobbaco industry without players would prove harmful to the country as it is only the people involved who understand the repercussions to the country’s economy.

“They have been going to International conferences without inviting the people in the tobacco industry and the problems we are facing as a country is because we are not moving together. If, for instance our colleagues in the Ministry of Health, call and find out more  from us,  we can move together in uniform.

“Zimbabwe has accepted to move with the Framework Commission for Tobacco Control Treaty. In Malawi,  they are moving together, only Zambia is not moving in that direction. We need to find out why only one arm of government because the ministry of health is only but one part of the arm of government.

“We have the Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Agriculture. Tobbaco is regulated by an Act of Parliament hence it’s a special crop. Zimbabwe,  despite the Economic challenges,  are going on, they have bought tobbaco worth 233 million kilos at average 3 dollars, they project to hit a billion. 40% of the GDP will be contributed from tobacco,” he said.

He further disclosed that during the MMD government exchange rate drastically reduced because of tobacco which he said brings in more forex than copper.

He said when the sale of Tobbaco commences the Dollar and other major foreign currencies reduces because the crop brings in more forex than any other crop grown in the country.

Meanwhile Nkeyema MP Kapelwa Mbangweta said instead of rushing to sign treaties which would harm the country’s economy in the long run, government should invest in research to deal with side effects of tobacco.

He said that,  with research the production of tobacco would help the Zambia attain the much talked about economic independence.

“If it was in the UNIP days or sometime back I would have accepted,  but in this era the country has opened up and we are educated but we are lacking the knowledge. Even in Marijuana we need the knowledge, even the tobacco we need the knowledge, even the mukula we need the knowledge.

“In our land we have a lot of things which are of value but we lack knowledge. We need to do a research and once somebody discovers that something and we see that it adds value it will help us economically as a country. Is it good that we are always borrowing? We want to be independent, we want economic independence. We have attained independence but we want economic independence,” he said.

And TBZ Board member Blessings Banda said the people driving FCTC agenda have not consulted all the stakeholders.

“The people with the FCTC agenda, who did they consult? Did they look at the economic value of tobacco? There are institutions which depend on tobacco. Let me start with the Ministry of Finance which keeps the coffers of Zambia, they are able to see what tobacco can do in the country, you go to Bank of Zambia, you are able to see what tobacco can do to the country. Eastern province has moved to the level of 13 banks. Lundazi alone has more than six banks operational, they were targeting the tobacco industry, when you take six banks in an area its development isn’t it? That is just a meagre thing but there are other major things.

“Then let’s look at the employment levels, Tobacco is able to employ over 1 million people in Zambia if we are to become serious,  but the people who have the agenda framework they never consulted the Ministry of Finance, they never consulted the Ministry of Labour, they never consulted the Ministry of Commerce, they never consulted the Ministry of Agriculture, if they had consulted these 4 wings of government,  I think they wouldn’t have taken the road they are taking, they should think twice,” he said.

Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is the first treaty negotiated under the auspices of the World Health Organization. The Framework intends for countries who sign the Treaty to stop the cultivation of Tobacco by 2030.

 

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30 COMMENTS

  1. Really????? Bufi. I don’t think so and I don’t understand this especially when there are some many bells and whistles over copper by the same government. Lelo ati tobacco this and tobacco that – kwisa. Lets be serious and stop fooling ourselves. Talk of diverting attention!!!
    Disaster!!!!

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  2. This whole article can easily be summarized in just two paragraphs Mr. Editor. Otherwise, I agree, they are right on point.

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    • You can even make more money if you do a Maria Langa and grow more weed than any other kind of Tobacco.

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  3. I support a shift from being mining dependent only to agriculture economy driven – we have lots of potential in agriculture to boost and grow our economy. However, very little attention is give to agriculture. We have the land, good weather, enough water bodies, what are we waiting for?

    School leavers must start going for ZNS to specifically do farming – it must be mandetory, to train them and change perception towards agriculture.

    Our future is in farming

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  4. Yes, tobacco brings in a lot of money. But have considered how much money it drains from the diseases that it causes? Treatment of those diseases means spending more money on health, lack productivity due to illness, loss of breadwinners due to death, etc, etc

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    • @Analyst, You missing the point, or should we call you a missed call. The tobacco that bring in Money is not the same as the Tobacco that causes disease in Zambia. The Tobacco that is causing the disease is the finished imported Tobacco.

      We are talking about the raw exported Tobacco here and even Sinkamba’s marijuana agenda in premised on exported Ganja to the world market. The Zambian market is small to generate the big Money that Tobacco and Marijuana can generate. This is for the export market and not for Zambian consumption

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    • @Chief MMD Bootlicker, you indeed you are just a boot licker and not a thinker. Even when you export, it will cause diseases elsewhere, in fact Zambia will even import cigarettes from the tobacco you export. think you chap!!

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  5. Tobacco is HEALTH HARZAD just as ALCHOL is also HEALTH HARZAD: if tobacco brings more forex from smokers why is Zambia so poor? The Country cant be rich from such evil businesses.

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  6. Exported tobacco ,coffee ,flowers and cotton or processed textile Zambian exports are more sustainable in the long run than copper. Bangladesh export more $$$ in textiles than our copper exports.

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  7. Me l agree with what Chilufya is saying here 100%. The problem we have in Zambia are the mental beliefs that by going to school as far as University to obtain those useless Degrees is the norm, far from it! Let’s ‘suck’ in as many school drop-outs as possible by way of NATIONAL SERVICES training; it’s SKILLS that take a country forward…

    Just look at Chinese, do they know how to speak the english language that we Zambians ‘die’ to learn to speak it? Look at China today, it’s a world economic power-house due to its policy on it’s national’s training program. Yes ba Chilufya let’s go TOBACCO including ULUBANGULA!

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  8. We need to cultivate the crop as long as it brings money. Do people ask themselves which countries produce pesticides that are banned for use on edible crops? You will be shocked to know that it is the same developed countries that do not want pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables that produce and export these chemicals to developing countries! As long as they make money, they manufacture these chemicals. The main investment should be on more knowledge and appropriate use of the product than a total ban!

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  9. Namutekenya. Chimbayambaya. Galimoto. Njinga. What about Zambian words: Energy transfer, nicotin, atom, algebra, data, etc

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  10. Unfortunately, both the speakers quoted and the editorial team are misled. Firstly, as @MMD Chief Bootlicker correctly noted, there is a vast difference between cultivating tobacco leaf and smoking a cigarette. The MoH’s mandate is to safeguard the public health, this above all else, overrides any perceived economic benefits from tobacco, cultivated or consumed. Zambia exports over 90% of the leaf that is cultivated and imports 100% of cigarettes smoked. The MoH is trying to control the increasing consumption of cigarettes. There is startling evidence to show that smoking is increasing among the youth from as young as 13 years! If this continues there will be a huge problem in the country of the next decade and more. And it will only get worse.

    Secondly, the consultative process…

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    • Secondly, the consultative process being talked about is a normal government process. The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is a global treaty. It is a legally binding document that Zambia signed back in 2005. In it are specific requirements which Zambia, like the other 181 signatories to the FCTC, is required to adhere to. This is not a recommendation, it is a legal requirement. For this to happen in Zambia, there are internal processes that require the very consultative process to take place. Again in Zambia, this is legally a requirement. The MoH cannot just “wake up” and “decide” to do something without undergoing this consultative process. It simply cannot happen. It would be rejected by all parties and would be outside the protocols set in place. So, all relevant…

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    • So, all relevant ministries are highly unlikely to be left out of the consultative process, including the Tobacco Board of Zambia, the Ministry of Commerce and Trade, MoF and others.

      Lastly, the last paragraph in the article “… The Framework intends for countries who sign the Treaty to stop the cultivation of Tobacco by 2030.” IS SIMPLY WRONG! There is nowhere in the entire treaty that talks of stopping the cultivation of tobacco, either by 2030 or by any other date! Please take the time to read the FCTC. A simple google search could have saved you this unfortunate state of affairs. It is simply a blatant lie that appears to have gained traction in Zambia.

      There is plenty more to be said, but I will leave it there for now!

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    • Oh! I couldn’t leave out a comment on the headline itself! Laughable, to say the least. No, tobacco DOES NOT bring in more forex than copper! A 2017 list of export by value is as follows:

      1. Copper: US$6.1 billion (75.7% of total exports)
      2. Inorganic chemicals: $246 million (3%)
      3. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $157.4 million (1.9%)
      4. Sugar, sugar confectionery: $136.8 million (1.7%)
      5. Other base metals: $124.5 million (1.5%)
      6. Books, newspapers, pictures: $120.6 million (1.5%)
      7. Gems, precious metals: $101.6 million (1.3%)
      8. Cereals: $99.4 million (1.2%)
      9. Tobacco, manufactured substitutes: $88.6 million (1.1%)
      10. Machinery including computers: $79.7 million (1%)

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  11. A University degree is never useless. It is what you do with It! Alexy Kalashinikov said he designed the AK47 to DEFEND his country!

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  12. Goodness gracious. This is not even debatable and this not Marijuana is less harmful. ***********
    Let me just warn you Zambians. Lung Cancer, Stroke, Cardiac Illnesses,COPD, Emphysema, Heart disease etc. This guy absolutely needs education. I take care of people who have been smokers and struggle to just breath. Try going under water every other minute and use a narrative to how you will struggle to breath when you destroy your lungs. Please I beg you even in the most advanced nation on the planet we know of you smoke at some point you will die. When I was in Zambia I know we are incapable of dealing with many illnesses as it is and now you want to promote Tobbaco? Iye mayo

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