Government has been tasked to embark on diversifying agricultural sector following high rejection rate of tobacco on market in the just began selling season.
An economic expert from Polytechnic University Dr. Betchani Tcheleni said time has come for the country to stop relying on tobacco farming only.
According to Tcheleni, diversifying the agricultural sector will help the country to develop economically.
“We need to look at this issue from another angle, may be this is an indication that tobacco has lost its value on the market. If people who can buy tobacco and they are telling you that we can’t buy this anymore, it just means that over dependency on tobacco is gone and its high time that we implement other ways of earning foreign exchange,” said Tchereni.
Since the opening of the season last week, about 72 percent of tobacco has been rejected on the market this year alone.
Tcheleni described the high rejection rate as a blow to the country’s economy which solely relies on tobacco for forex.
“Taking into consideration that tobacco market is the only source of forex in the country such situation is a very big blow to the economy of the country and when the leaf is rejected on the market it jeopardizes interests’ rate,” said Tcheleni.
This year’s farming season, tobacco demand was high than quantity as the country has produced only 122 million tones while buyers demanded for 122 million tones.