TOBACCO buyer, Bullion Leaf Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd has invested $20 million into contract farming and tobacco buying at the auction floors this year in a bid to boost foreign currency earnings.
Bullion Leaf received the $20 million facility from the Malaysian Fund for the procurement of tobacco from auction floors to foreign markets.
Bullion Leaf founder Mr Persistence Gwanyanya told BH24 that before month-end the company will begin its maiden journey of exporting tobacco to foreign markets.
“Bullion Leaf got a fund of $20 million from external funders and its intention this year is to export three million tonnes of tobacco under the Malaysian Fund,” said Mr Gwanyanya.
He said: “We intend to go into contract farming where we are currently signing up farmers in Mashonaland East and Mashonaland Central in places like Mvurwi, Guruve, Karoi, Headlands, Shamva and Karoi among other places.
“We intend to contract 600 small-scale farmers in the forthcoming season and 20 commercial farmers to satisfy the export order at hand.
“All will also be supported by the Fund.”
The company also benefited from RBZ Exchange Control Approval to use locally sourced money to buy tobacco from floors for $5 million.
He said the current financing and marketing structures for tobacco have made it difficult for small players to penetrate the industry due to strong curtails in the tobacco industry.
Any contractor who is out of these curtails is restricted to buy less and poor grades of tobacco, however, Bullion said it is up for the challenge against mighty contractors who have operated for various years in the country.
Bullion which is expected to start work this week, will employ 60 people with great hope that thousands more will be employed as the company grows bigger.
Bullion Leaf will be one of the first locally black-owned indigenous companies to export golden leaf. — BH24