The government  says local companies should take advantage of the increased  tobacco output to invest more into value addition  after revelations unprocessed tobacco is costing the nation millions of dollars in potential revenues.

The Minister of Industry and Commerce Cde Mike Bimha told the ZBC News after the ISO certification of Savanna Tobacco in the capital on Thursday (today), the growth of the tobacco industry now depends on ability by the government to attract investors with technical expertise in the value addition of the crop to unlock more returns or profits and reduce dependency of exporting the commodity in its raw form.

“We are now looking beyond to increase the value on investments,” he said.

Value addition of the tobacco industry has the potential to earn the nation millions of dollars thereby enabling the government to undertake part of its fiscal obligations as well as creating sustainable growth for strategic industries, says Savanna Tobacco managing director Mr Adam Molai.

“The need to unlock more value from the commodity is now of greater importance,” said Mr Molai.

Value addition and beneficiation of the tobacco industry is also aimed at creating employment opportunities as well as facilitating viable returns for the tobacco growers across the country.