President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has called for serious commitment to compliance with global requirements for the health of the country’s tobacco industry, saying all stakeholders have a role to play.
President Chakwera made the call when he opened the 2022 tobacco marketing season in Lilongwe on Thursday.
“Compliance issues have become very critical on the global tobacco village. Environmental sustainability, human rights and Agricultural Labour Practices and governance issues are very fundamental in today’s tobacco business,” noted Dr Chakwera.
“It is, therefore, imperative for us as a nation to do our business in a manner that complies with such demands.”
Dr Chakwera then called for synergy in the tobacco industry if the country is to succeed in complying with the global requirements.
“To comply with these demands, all stakeholders must play their role and work together, whether government, growers, buyers, market operators, grower associations and other service providers,” said the President.
The 2022 tobacco marketing season was opened under the theme ‘Compliance: Key to sustainable tobacco production and marketing’.
This year’s tobacco marketing season was opened earlier than in previous years to provide financial cushion for farmers whose leaf is market-ready.
In the 2022 farming season, the late onset of rainfall posed a challenge for some tobacco growers, leading to lower production than in 2021.
The first round of crop estimates survey conducted earlier this year shows production could be at 103 million kilogrammes. This is yet to be validated by the second round of crop estimates survey concluded last week.
In 2021, 123 million kilograms of tobacco was sold at the floors.