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New kid enters tobacco industry

A NEW tobacco contracting firm, Sub Sahara Tobacco Company, was officially launched in Mashonaland Central, Mvurwi on Friday.

By Simbarashe Sithole

The company was first launched in Mhangura after being licensed by the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) in April this year.

Sub Sahara has contracted 500 tobacco farmers in Mvurwi and is targeting 5 000 farmers in Mashonaland Central province.

Sub Sahara director Brian Chonyera said the company was Zimbabwe-owned and was set to improve the country’s liquidity crunch by exporting tobacco to get the much-needed foreign currency.

“Our company is owned by Zimbabweans and is different from other tobacco companies in that we export the tobacco, thereby, bringing the much-needed foreign currency to move the nation forward,” he said.

Chonyera said they have already bought 800 tonnes of tobacco from other auction floors in Harare.

“We have bought about 800 tonnes of tobacco so far from Harare, so we are just waiting to operate in full swing this coming season since we are an emerging giant in the industry.”

The company’s Mashonaland Central regional supervisor Bernard Bafana said plans to open an auction floor in Mvurwi were aimed at bringing competition to Mashonaland Tobacco Company (MTC), which has been enjoying a monopoly.

“We are currently looking for a good place in Mvurwi to open our own auction floor as you know in Mvurwi we only have MTC, so we need competition in town to curb monopoly and bring value for money to our farmers,” Bafana said.

The occasion was graced by various stakeholders, which included representatives from Agritex, Metbank, Windmill, among others.

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