Ethiopia’s National Tobacco Enterprise (NTE) is trying to obtain funding for the purchase of a new cigarette-making machine to produce 20,000 cigarettes a minute, according to a story by Mahlet Mesfin for the Addis Fortune.
The cost of the machine is said to be about 142 million birr (US$7.79 million).
NTE, which started production with a single machine in 1941, now has two machines that were bought in 2003 and that are capable of manufacturing 7,000 cigarettes per minute, according to Ayele Alebel, NTE’s public relations officer.
“We can neither satisfy the demand with our current capacity nor be competitive in the market with the current machines,” he said.
Though the enterprise has the exclusive right to manufacture and distribute tobacco products in the country, it has only a 62 per cent market share, with the rest of the being held by illicit products.
The NTE believes demand this year is probably about 6.5 billion cigarettes, while currently it is producing only 3.7 billion.
Category: Breaking News