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Egypt to construct tobacco-processing factories 

| April 23, 2015

The Egyptian government plans to construct two tobacco-processing factories in Malawi to support the country’s tobacco industry, according to the Malawi News Agency.

The Egyptian Ambassador to Malawi, Maher El-Adawy, said the construction of these factories will help spur economic growth because the crop is regarded as the country’s main forex earner.

“We have always been in a good relationship with Malawi, and we are happy to support it, especially in the tobacco industry because we know that tobacco is the main forex earner, and by doing so we will help the country’s economy to grow,” El-Adawy said.

El-Adawy also indicated that construction of the two factories will not only spark economic growth, but also aid in job creation.

“We believe the construction of the two factories will also create employment for some quarters of the Malawian society thereby helping them to improve their lives,” he said.

According to the World Bank, 90 percent of Malawi’s tobacco is exported to other countries for processing due to the country’s currently limited tobacco-processing capabilities.

“Much of our tobacco is exported for processing because we do not have the capacity to do so,” said Malawi’s minister of information, tourism and culture, Kondwani Nankhumwa. “So by having these two tobacco processing factories, Malawi will start processing the tobacco on its own and sell the products on our own for a profit.”

One factory will be built in Lilongwe; the location for the second factory is still being decided by the government. Construction of both factories is expected to begin soon, according to El-Adawy.

Malawi is one of the top 10 producers of tobacco in the world, with the crop accounting for the majority of the country’s agricultural export earnings.

Slow tobacco deliveries at Malawi’s Mzuzu Auction Floors

| April 5, 2013

The pace at which tobacco is flowing to Mzuzu Auction Floors has been described as slow just few days before the market officially opens on Monday, April 8, according to Malawi’s The Daily Times.

Mzuzu Auction Floors Assistant Manager Joseph Kawinga said the pace of tobacco deliveries is low as most farmers are still processing their leaf.

He said by Tuesday, the floors had received around 137 bales. He, however, remained optimistic that the numbers should pick up as the official opening draws close.

He allayed fears that the low traffic signals the decline in production of the green gold, the country’s top foreign exchange earner, which currently battles anti-smoking lobbies from international groups including the World Health Organization. Kawinga maintained that farmers are not shunning the crop arguing that the floors will meet its targeted tobacco tonnage.

Malawi commits to tackling child labor

| September 17, 2012

During a recent conference in Lilongwe, Malawi’s government and other stakeholders endorsed a plan to eliminate child labor in agriculture. Malawi’s child labor incidence is among the highest in southern Africa.

Held Sept. 4-6, the Malawi National Conference on Child Labor in Agriculture was the first of its kind in Malawi. The event was convened by the Ministry of Labor and sponsored by the Eliminating Child Labor in Tobacco Growing Foundation (ECLT Foundation) in partnership with the International Labor Organization.

Themed “Our Children, Our Future,” the event drew more than 350 government representatives, agricultural stakeholders, members of labor organizations, business, civil society and NGOs—and children.

In her opening address, Malawi’s president, Joyce Banda, called for synergy among all stakeholders to end child labor. “I will not let children continue working in these estates instead of concentrating on their studies. And to you who are employing these kids, it is my humble plea that you stop such acts to give room to these children to be future leaders,” she said.

Under the banner “Anything for us, without us, is against us,” 40 children from Malawi’s agricultural industries presented recommendations for ending child labor.

The conference resulted in sector-by-sector agreement to actions to be implemented by 2016 and the Malawi government’s charge to conduct a National Child Labor Survey to map child labor and the effectiveness of programs in place to stop it.

More information about the initiative is available at http://www.malawichildlabourconference.com.