Malawi depends on tobacco

| October 25, 2016

There are divisions among tobacco farmers in Malawi over the future of the crop, according to a Capital FM story.

The World Health Organization, through its Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, is encouraging countries to abandon tobacco production, a move that is threatening the livelihoods of farmers and the economies of countries, such as Malawi, that rely heavily on tobacco earnings.

But last week, farmers in the Kasungu district were said to have told Capital FM that they were ready to shift their focus from tobacco to other crops.

While sympathising with the farmers’ views, the Tobacco Association of Malawi (TAMA) president, Reuben Maigwa, expressed reservations. “We are aware of the anti-smoking lobby through the framework on tobacco control by the WHO,” he said

“What we are doing is to grow as many crops as possible. We are growing other crops alongside tobacco.”

He went on to say that there was no cash crop that could replace tobacco, which is Malawi’s main foreign exchange earner, amounting to more than 40 percent of the economy.

“With tobacco Malawi has a steady market and stable buyers,” Maigwa said. “However with the other crop markets the country is yet to find a solid ground.”

He stressed that Malawi was focusing on diversifying its agriculture sector, but he said it did not intend to replace tobacco.

Category: Breaking News

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