Zimbabwe delegation impressed by the quality of the crops
The Mysore brand of tobacco, which attracts buyers from across the world for its low nicotine and tar content, has drawn an official delegation from Zimbabwe, which is one of the leading tobacco-producing countries in the world.
The 10-member delegation from the Tobacco Industries and Marketing Board of Zimbabwe, led by its chief executive officer Andrew Matibiri, arrived here on October 5 and is, at present, visiting tobacco-growing regions of Mysore district, interacting with farmers and inspecting auction platforms.
They will return to Zimbabwe on Saturday.
Impressed by quality
Speaking to The Hindu over the telephone, Dr. Matibiri said the delegation comprising stakeholders in Zimbabwe’s tobacco industry were impressed with the quality of the crops.
“We are also impressed with improved practices and procedures here,” he said. Regional Manager of Tobacco Board, Mysore, Y. Venugopal, who accompanied the delegation, said the delegates, who also visited the auction platform at Periyapatna, were impressed with the e-auction system in the State.
Dr. Matibiri said Zimbabwe would try to implement certain practices they learnt in Mysore region.
When asked about the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (which seeks to reduce demand and supply of tobacco) to which Zimbabwe is a signatory, Dr. Matibiri said the tobacco crop was “too important for the economy of our community. We are yet to find an alternative crop that gives farmers the same returns”.
Meanwhile, president of VFC Tobacco Growers’ Federation of Karnataka Javare Gowda, who is also a former vice-chairman of the Tobacco Board, said international traders and representatives of various cigarette manufacturing companies from around the world visited Mysore every year to firm up deals.