One of the country’s tobacco firms, Alliance One Tobacco Malawi has embarked on a special reforestation campaign in a response to wanton tree-felling in the country because of tobacco farming and has disclosed that it plans to plant over 2.5 million trees this year.
The campaign targets about 1000 hectares of land per annum from this year until 2021 in all Alliance One and government plantations.
Among the areas earmarked for the campaign include 400 hectares in Chikangawa forest, 250 hectares in Notches, Kombi, 70 hectares in Ngala and 70 hectares in Dzalanyama forest.
Speaking during the company’s tree planting day at newly acquired Mpale Estate in Madisi in Dowa on Thursday, Alliance One Leaf Production Director Ronald Ngwira said the company will plant 1000 hectares of forest representing 100 percent increase on the 424 hectares it planted last year costing in excess of K160 million.
“This year we are planting about 2.5 million trees as they form part of our forestry sufficiency and sustainability program. To this effect this year the company is boosting it’s newly formed forestry section under the Leaf Production Department to champion the planting and management of this drive of in excess of 1,000 hectares per annum until 2021, at an estimated 1.4 billion for 7 years when the company aims to be self sufficient in the wood supply from this resource “said Ngwira.
Ngwira said Alliance One Tobacco intends to turn the farm into an innovation hub to ensure sustainable wood, training facilities, small holder production units and some limited research and development to serve farmers.
Group Village Katukumuka hailed Alliance one Tobacco saying the project will benefit the community to access wood and Timber in the near future.
Through the project which is funded by Alliance One in collaboration with customers like Imperial Tobacco, the company is also supplying all its farmers with 400 trees per hectare of tobacco produced and this represents a further 5million tree seedling that are being planted throughout Alliance One growing area in the form of live barns.