Malawi sticking with leaf production

| November 3, 2016

Malawi’s Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda has said that his country will not stop growing tobacco, its main foreign exchange earner, even in response to the activities of anti-smoking groups, according to a story in The Nyasa Times.

Chaponda said Malawi could not stop growing tobacco overnight and would continue growing it, calling tobacco the “backbone of the economy” in Malawi.

He was speaking on the side-lines of an event to mark World Tobacco Growers’ Day in Lilongwe.

Tobacco is Malawi’s main foreign currency earner. It accounts for more than 70 percent of exports and 15 percent of GDP.

The industry employs an estimated two million of Malawi’s 13 million people.

Chaponda said that according to the results of government research, “there is no crop which can take over from tobacco in as a far as forex generation is concerned”.

He said tobacco was Malawi’s strategic crop and would remain so for some time to come.

The Times said that Malawi’s draft economic growth strategy proposed a diversified agricultural sector, whereby tobacco would be replaced by crops such as cotton and cassava.

Category: Breaking News

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