By Desire Tshuma
Tian Ze has pledged to continue in supporting tobacco farmers in Zimbabwe through contract farming and building schools for communities to boost the education sector.
This emerged from the media tour that was organized by Tian Ze Tobacco Company to its auction floors and to one of its contract farmers at Beatrice farm and to the school that it constructed. Tian Ze Tobacco Company is a subsidiary of China National Tobacco Company that was established in 2005 and has been in tobacco contact growing, auction floor purchasing, tobacco processing, warehousing and exporting tobacco to China.
Tian Ze, since its establishment has been concentrating on contract farming with supplements from auction floor purchasing.
“We have been providing free Interest loans , zero mark up on inputs, free technical support, training and service to our contract farmers to help them improve on tobacco production,” said Wenjie Li public affairs manager .
Since Tian Ze has contracted over 200 hundred contract farmers, growing excess of 11 000 hactares of tobacco and they purchase over 30 million kilograms of flue cured tobacco from its contract scheme.
Tian Ze has 79 employees including 5 China tobacco overseas stuff and 74 local employees .
“We employ more than 300 seasonal staff during tobacco season. We provide direct and in direct employment to over 20 000 in form of farm labour through contract growing,” said Liang Zhijun .
“Every year we provide US$80 million to help and support the farmers to develop tobacco production and with this support, tobacco quality keeps on improving. At the same time we have improved farmers livelihoods , we have also managed to purchase houses for farmers in splush suburbs and others can now afford to send their children to the universities abroad,” concluded Liang Zhijun who is the first secretary and director of political affairs for the embassy of People’s Republic of China in Zimbabwe.
In 2010 Tian Ze constructed Dunnolly Primary School in Beatrice under Seke district and purchased the school furniture including a computer room. The school has 700 children and 21 teachers. It also supports Hupenyu Hutsva Children’s Home which is an orphanage that is run by the government of Zimbabwe under the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.