TANZANIA is set to start exporting tobacco to China in efforts to secure a reliable global market.
In a meeting with senior Chinese government officials on Saturday, Mr Pinda urged them to consider the possibility of exporting locally produced tobacco to China which is a huge market with a population of almost one and a half billion people.
Mr Pinda revealed this during a public rally at Inyonga village in Mlele District in Katavi region where tobacco is the major cash crop. He said that the Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania has already agreed to the request.
"The Chinese government has accepted our request with conditions that the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives must assure them (China) that the exchange will not be to the detriment of their production," Mr Pinda said.
The premier also observed that farmers in the new district through four primary cooperative societies earned 11bn/- during the previous farming season after selling 3,808,505 kilogrammes of tobacco. He named the societies as Ukonongo, Ilunde, Nsimbo and Katumba.
"The problem is that prices in the world market are unstable and they change now and then, once tobacco farmers in Europe, China and America realize bumper harvests they force prices to drop," he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Pinda asked the Mlele District Commissioner, Colonel Ngemela Lubinga, to select two best tobacco farmers from the area who will be sent to Zimbabwe and Malawi to study best ways of cultivating the crop. According to the premier, the selected farmers would then pass on the knowledge acquired to other farmers in the district.