Key tobacco buyer Japan Tobacco International (JTI) has planted 1,000 trees at Kanengo waste disposal site in Lilongwe in line with the company’s commitment to reforestation initiative to replace trees felled during previous unsustainable forestry. By 2018, the total number of trees to be planted by the company will increase to 22 million.
Director of Corporate Affairs and Communication Antonio Vencesla said the company is taking advantage of recent rainfall in Lilongwe to secure the tree seedlings’ survival.
“The challenge with all re-forestation initiatives is with survival and management of newly-planted tree seedlings. We could have done this earlier, but the erratic rains delayed our intent. Fortunately Lilongwe has been blessed with rainfall the last few weeks and we decided that the time to plant was right,” said Vencesla.
He said reforestation efforts by JTI are an integral part of the company’s long-term strategy to support sustainable production of tobacco by helping contracted growers to plan ahead and secure a sustainable wood supply to strengthen communities and ensure the viability of tobacco farming.
“JTI’s contract growers are the ones taking the lead in planting new trees for use as Live Barns. Live Barns is an initiative launched in Malawi in February 2013 aimed at avoiding deforestation and contributing to social conservation in tobacco growing communities,” Vencesla said.
Since 2011, JTI has planted over 16 million trees in tobacco growing communities and the company expects to plant an additional 6 million trees by 2018.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :