Chinese tobacco firm honours farmers


Chinese-owned Tian Ze Tobacco Company last Friday held an awards ceremony for its contract farmers to recognise their efforts and performance.

Farmers were awarded in various categories including Best Yielding Farmer, Best Sustainable Practices, Best Handling, Grading and Presentation, Best Commercial Effort, most Improved Farmer, Best Quality and Overall Best Achiever.

Speaking during the ceremony, Tian Ze managing director Wang Hua said despite the challenges faced by farmers, the firm was committed to producing high quality tobacco.

“Ladies and gentlemen, despite these setbacks we want to thank our farmers who remain committed in ensuring that tobacco farming continues and produces the highest quality tobacco leaf,” said Wang Hua.

He added that Tian Ze would continue offering support to farmers through loans to achieve the desired Chinese quality tobacco.

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development deputy minister Vangelis Haritatos applauded farmers for their efforts.

He said the sector was a fundamental stepping stone to the achievement of Vision 2030 of making Zimbabwe a prosperous and empowered upper middle-income society.

“After gold, tobacco is Zimbabwe’s biggest foreign currency generator and for this I would like to applaud our tobacco sector,” Haritatos said.

“Zimbabwe sold 186,6 million kg of leaf tobacco valued at US$ 515,9 million during the 2021 marketing season according to the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB).”

He added that the move by the tobacco sector to come up with initiatives to encourage farmers to grow good quality tobacco was in line with government’s plans to grow the economy and improve on its exports. The annual farmers awards started in 2020 as part of efforts to encourage and acknowledge efforts made by contract farmers to improve the quality of their crop.

In an interview, one of the winners, Aron Denenga, who owns Grow Global Agriculture Enterprise, applauded Tian Ze for funding the tobacco sector.

“Tian Ze has quite a number of great growers and for me to be included in those awards means a lot to me, Grow Global Agriculture  and my staff,” Denenga said.

  • Follow us on Twitter@NewsDayZimbabwe