British American Tobacco (BAT) has announced plans to build a cigarette factory in Lusaka.

The move is expected to boost demand for locally produced tobacco from commercial and emerging farmers.

In collaboration with Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), BAT has signed an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) deal of US$15.1 million for the construction of a cigarette factory and head office.

The industrial plant is to be developed on 2.44 hectares of land in the Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zones.

The plant will manufacture BAT’s globally renowned brands Dunhill, Kent, Lucky Strike, Pall Mall and Rothmans.

In addition, BAT will now be able to cut down on importing cigarettes and effectively lead to forex saves on the country’s forex market and treasury.

BAT previously owned a manufacturing facility in the country but abandoned it after liberalisation program in the early 1990’s that opened up the borders to cheap cigarette imports.

Statistics indicate that the value of the global tobacco market is estimated at some US$770 billion.