Malawi shares notes on tobacco with Zambia
The Tobacco Board of Zambia (TBZ) says is impressed with the operation of the tobacco industry in Malawi.
At the end of a week-long learning visit last week, TBZ board chairperson Mr Phil Daka cited harmony between the industry regulator – the Tobacco Commission – and stakeholders, environmental protection and sustainability and the Malawi Government active involvement in the tobacco industry as some of the lessons drawn from the visit.
“It’s been an exhilarating and enlightening experience, sector-wise. Our visit has helped us understand things from different players in the tobacco industry – the regulator, merchants, government and others,” said Mr Daka.
The Tobacco Commission engages industry stakeholders at different stages of tobacco production and marketing. The engagements include the determination of the cost of production for the purposes of guiding government in setting minimum prices for tobacco every year.
Malawi Government involvement in the industry includes the setting of minimum prices for tobacco every year.
On environmental protection, farmers are, among others, adopting the use of live barns to minimise the volumes of trees used.
TC spokesperson Telephorus Chigwenembe has described the learning visit by TBZ as evidence of the good standing of Malawi’s tobacco industry.
“This demonstrates that we are doing things right in Malawi. We call for continued cooperation among all players in the industry in the country to ensure we not only increase production but also maintain our tobacco as the preferred brand on the global market,” said Chigwenembe.
During the visit, TBZ met TC, tobacco farmers, a buying company (JTI), floor operator AHL and ARET.
In the 2023 tobacco selling season, 120 million kilogrammes of tobacco was sold, 50 million kilogrammes short of the year’s trade demand.
The Commission aims at increasing annual production to 200 million kilogrammes by 2028.
As of Monday, 18th September, the Commission had licensed 150 million kilogrammes of tobacco which signaling an expected increased production in the 2023/2024 farming season.