—The pulling-out of Japani Tobacco International Company [JTI] from Lundazi District to Chipata has been received with mix feelings from various starkholders, including Lundazi District Commissioner, Jannet Palukani.
ZANIS in Lundazi reports Ms Palukani has since described the move by JTI Company as unfortunate because it will create uncertainty and job losses in the tobacco industry.
The DC said during the operations of the company, thousands of jobs were created for youths especially during the tobacco marketing seasons.
She added that more jobs were created for local people during the delivery and supply of farming inputs.
Ms Palukani disclosed that JTI Company has decided to re-allocate itself to Chipata district due to high operation costs and over flooding of tobacco at the world market and poor loan recoveries from farmers.
The DC has since made a passionate appeal to company management to rescind its decision of re-allocating itself to Chipata because the move will create a negative impact economically, politically and socially to the people of Lundazi district.
She observed that JTI Company will be the fourth tobacco company to pull out of Lundazi district with the first company being Zamleaf, followed by Alliance One, then Eastern Fodya Association of Zambia[ EFAZ, leaving only Tombwe Company in operation.
Meanwhile, Tobacco Board of Zambia [TBZ] committee member at national level, Franklin Mwale, confirmed the pulling out of JTI Company from Lundazi to Chipata to takeover Kapala Tobacco Scheme, previously managed by Alliance – One Tobacco Company.
However Mr Mwale said JTI Company will continue sponsoring only some few barely tobacco farmers in chiefs Mwasemphangwe and Chikomeni in Lundazi district for easy supervision