New cigarette machine should reduce imports


The National Tobacco Enterprise will soon be able to increase production thanks to a new machine that can produce 12,000 sticks per minute. The 140 million birr purchase from G.D. USA, an Italian based company is a long awaited upgrade from their current two machines which produce between 7 and 10 thousand sticks per minute and about 3.5 billion a year.
The new machine will increase the production by 50 percent.
Sixty percent of its shares are held by Sheba Investment Plc, a Yemeni based company, and the rest by the Ethiopian government. It produces Nyala, Gisilla, Elleni, Delight and Nyala Premium brands. Its 2013 fiscal year net profit was 319 million birr. 
The enterprise has farms in Hawassa, Shewa Robit, Bilatie and Wolaita and it plans to add 10 hectares in Arbaminch. USD 12 million was spent importing tobacco from Brazil and India.
Recently the Ethiopian Parliament ratified a proclamation prohibiting smoking in public places and taxing cigarettes, new warnings have been placed on labels as well. Studies have shown that regular smokers are 4 to 10 times more likely to die from cancers of the mouth, larynx, and esophagus than non-smokers. Smoking appears to be linked to death from cancer of the pancreas and bladder as well.