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THE tobacco industry has the potential to produce up to 500 million kilograms of tobacco yearly because Zambia has sufficient land and water, says an Eastern Province farmer, Chilufya Chishala.

Mr Chishala said the tobacco industry has the capacity to redeem the nation economically if well handled. He said this in a statement issued yesterday.

Mr Chishala said he was concerned that several tobacco merchants owed Government millions of Kwacha which could be used to settle a lot of Government bills.

Mr Chishala, who is a former board member of Tobacco Board Zambia, said with strict adherence to the law that regulates the industry, tobacco has the potential to redeem the country economic wise.

“In the tobacco industry we have got the Tobacco Act, we have the Statutory Instruments (Sis)which the Government enacted. These are the only laws which should guide this industry if it is to prosper,”Mr. Chishala said.

He said SIs 84 of 2018 seeks to create an environment which is fair and transparent for merchants, farmers and government as well as end poor conditions in the tobacco value chain as supported by the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

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