June 24, 2011

Malawi to regulate tobacco production

Government has unveiled plans to introduce a policy to manage tobacco production in the country. Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Professor Peter Mwanza disclosed this in the capital, Lilongwe, during the official launch of the 23rd Annual Congress of the Tobacco Association of Malawi (Tama) which pooled key players in the tobacco industry in the country. He said there was urgent need for Malawi to balance the reduction of further erosion to the tobacco farmer’s income and profitability with production to the global trade requirements. Mwanza admitted that this year tobacco farmers have eroded their profit margins due to a higher rejection rate on the market attributed to over-supply.
"My ministry will shortly institute a policy to manage the crop size and address other related problems with immediate effect," said Mwanza amid applause from the delegates.
He said reports indicate that only 25 percent of what was realised on burley tobacco last year is what has been realised to date "and this greatly shows that something is wrong and obviously we cannot afford to look at the situation agape without mitigating on the problems."

In reaction, Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) chief executive officer Dr. Bruce Munthali welcomed the introduction of a policy to regulate production of tobacco in the industry. He said it is imperative for Malawi to match her output with the global demand for the crop. (Nation Online)

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