Tobacco Asia

Volume 19, Number 1

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Page 49 of 75

50 tobaccoasia LEAF NEWS 烟叶新闻 WHO SAID WHAT? "Many consumers are open to a trade-off between health and taste. Heat-not-burn devices can provide exactly that, because they are less harmful than traditional cigarettes, yet more satisfying than e-liquid vaping." – James Yang, c.e.o. of Relaxo Technology Co. Ltd Zimbabwe Target Achievable Tobacco industry officials in Zimbabwe indicate that Zimbabwe will likely meet its projected target of 220 million kilograms of tobacco this season despite experiencing extra rainfall. In 2014, total flue tobacco amounted to 216 million kilograms earning the country $684 million. January figures from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board showed that a total of 88,640 growers have so far registered for the 2015 season up from 87,281 that registered in 2014. "The rains were not on our side. The season started late and then we had exces- sive rains in some areas which damaged crops," said Antonnette Chingwe, an economist from the Commercial Farmers Union. "The growing number of tobacco growers however is most likely going to work in our favor and boost our produc- tion figures." Chingwe said while production was on an upward trend, there was need to improve production efficiencies. (See our story on Zimbabwe leaf on Page 52) India Becoming a Sellers Market Addressing the board foundation day meeting, Indian tobacco board chairman Dr. K Gopal said it was high time for tobacco growers, merchants, and exporters to seriously think about making India a "sellers market". Since India remained a buyers market for the international traders, it did not benefit the stakeholders of Indian tobacco industry, according to Gopal. "Unless we build a brand image for Indian tobacco and build a sustainable demand market for the Indian leaf, it is very difficult to face the situation in the coming days," said Gopal. He also stated that global demand for tobacco is not stable as consumption declines every year. The board is trying to come up with various alternatives and options to ensure a stable market for the Indian leaf, and Gopal suggested all the stakeholders come together to explore new ways to sustain the Indian market. He said that the board is motivating growers to go for an alternative crop in 25-30% of their available cultivable land. He said that growers should also focus on producing clean tobacco without foreign bodies and without chemical pesticides. It should be properly cured and suitably graded, he said. Assured quality of leaf and stable supply chain system are important to convince the global customers, felt Gopal. He said that the board launched massive campaign for green manure to increase soil value and took measures to popularize biological and ecological engineering methods such as bio pesti- cides, border crops, trap crops, phero- mone traps to protect the crop from pests and to prevent pesticide residues. He strongly advised the trade to respond to the growers demands and try to be reasonable in giving them good prices. National Institute of Plant Health management director general K Satya Gopal stressed on the need of using bio-pesticides and bio-fertilizers to avoid chemical residues on the output. Uganda AOI enters Uganda Alliance One International (AOI) has entered the Ugandan market, setting up Alliance One Tobacco Uganda Limited offices in Kampala, Hoima, Arua, and Gulu. The company's administration office, based in Kampala, opened in mid-November 2014 while the other three offices opened during different stages toward the end of 2014. AOI already operates in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya. AOI will be using the Integrated Production System (IPS) production model so that it can support farmers from seed to sale. The company has also started its training program for the 2015 crop by providing training on Seedbed construction and growing. This training was held in Arua and Hoima in Decem- ber 2014. AOI is also setting up demonstration farms for each field technicial's extension area which will be used to conduct grower trainings in the hope that these training centers will help improve farmer yields, tobacco quality, and therefore, increased returns to the farmer. There will be four farmer and Agronomy staff Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) training days per year. Other trainings will include appropriate farming technologies which will help improve yields and quality output. One area of focus here will be supplying sustainable curing fuel to FCV growers and improving on existing reforestation programs in the area. The company also plans to set up resorting and baling centers to ensure fast baling up of tabacco to reduce mixing, NTRM, TSNA issues, bad debt, and loss of crop. These centers will also ensure that farmers have the opportunity to sell clean, well-presented crops, thereby maximizing efficiencies and margins. AOI expects to provide employment to more than 190 permanent employees in the first year and more than 750 seasonal employees, as well as provide support to more than 14,200 growers.

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