The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network

Over 125,000 metric tons of tobacco are produced in Tanzania annually but hardly used domestically

Tanzania exports more than 95 percent of all the Tobacco being produced in the country.

The Director General of the Tobacco Board of Tanzania, Stanley Mnozya reveals that the country has recorded bumper harvest of the cash crop in 2023, reaching over 125,000 tons but all packaged for exports.

Mr Mnozya revealed that the record harvest is a remarkable increase from the previous annual harvest that used to average at just 37,000 tons.

But 95 percent of that is shipped out of the country. Tanzania are expected to earn over 570 billion/- from the sales of their harvest this season.

The remaining five percent of the tobacco harvests, according to officia data, get absorbed by the Tanzania Cigarette Company (TCC), of Morogoro.

TCC on the other hand producers cigarretes that are mostly for export to other countries abroad.

Which therefore indicates that the pipes and cigarrete smoking culture has highly been puffed down in Tanzania.

“Farmers in the country are now set to earn over 570 billion/- from tobacco shipments, while the crop exports are expected to inject over 17 billion/- into local district councils’ coffers in form of revenues,” said the Director General.

Tanzania is among the leading tobacco producing countries in the world.

Tobacco in Tanzania is being cultivated by more than 60,000 farmers in ten mainland regions of the country.

Mpanda, with more than 8,600 farmers tops the list of tobacco growing regions in Tanzania, followed by Tabora, with 7,900 farmers, and Katavi, with 7,454.

Tanzania is meanwhile working to revive the Universal Tanzania Tobacco Processors Limited also based in Morogoro and which is cited to be able to dispense out 130 million kilograms of value added tobacco for exports every year.

The country says it will no longer be exporting raw tobacco in future.

As it happens most of the tobacco grown in Tanzania shipped to overseas markets especially Asia and Europe as well as some African states.

China is the current leader of tobacco growing countries producing 2.13 million metric tons of tobacco ahead of India and Brazil that churn out 800,000 tons each.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Anthony Mavunde said the government is working to improve the tobacco farming and processing environment since the sector is potential for job production and foreign exchange earnings.

“But in the process of growing tobacco Tanzania is honouring all international agreements regarding environment protection and safety precautions among farmers and people working in the industry,” he stated.

The global tobacco industry in total produces an average of 6 million metric tons of tobacco per annum.

Health concerns

There has however been serious health and environment concerns, raised by global communities regarding the Tobacco Industry from production to usage.

“Tobacco is not only a massive threat to food insecurity, but health overall, including the health of tobacco farmers. Farmers are exposed to chemical pesticides, tobacco smoke and as much nicotine as found in 50 cigarettes – leading to illnesses like chronic lung conditions and nicotine poisoning.”

Dr. Ruediger Krech- The Director of Health Promotion at World Health Organization
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