Malawi President opens tobacco market amid high prospects

President Peter Mutharika has re-iterated remarks that he will do all he can to support tobacco farmers and the tobacco industry in the country for the good of concerned stakeholders and that of the whole Malawi nation,  expressing  optimism that 2016 will be the year when farmers will earn decent incomes from their labour.

President Mutharika at the tobbaco auction floors in Lilongwe

President Mutharika at the tobbaco auction floors in Lilongwe

Mutharika at the auction floors for tobacco

Mutharika at the auction floors for tobacco

Mutharika expressed the sentiments at Kanengo in the capital Lilongwe Wednesday where he officially launched the 2016 Tobacco Marketing Season.

He said he was aware of the many challenges the players in the industry, especially “farmers”, were facing and assured that he would “iron them out.”

The President noted that tobacco was important in driving the country’s economy and as such it needed to be well supported.

“Tobacco is a very serious matter. It has been the life of our economy, our life. More than ever, our tobacco industry faces challenges we have never known before. They are challenges we must face and conquer together,” said Mutharika.

He warned some tobacco associations who are charging unjustified and exorbitant “levies and taxes” on farmers saying he would take them to task for their wrongdoing.

He asked the associations to be “fair” when plying their trade.

Taking to the buyers, Mutharika said much as there is always a call for fair prices every year, the buyers never walk the talk.

He made it clear that his government would make sure that farmers get what they deserve for their hard work.

Mutharika promised that his administration will create better regulation of the industry; provide affordable fertilizer for the farmers and protect farmers by investing in drought and climate change mitigation.

Board chairperson of Tobacco Control Commission (TCC), regulators of tobacco sale in Malawi, Inkosi ya Makosi M’belwa V said “a number of reformations were being made to bring about more glory to the tobacco industry.”

Tobacco, popularly known as the green gold in Malawi, is the country’s largest foreign exchange earner at about seventy per cent.

Despite worldwide anti-smoking campaigns, Malawi has vowed to keep on producing the cash crop.

The opening of tobacco marketing season brings a ray of hope that this will improve the ever dwindling economy which has pushed the cost of life drastically up in this poor nation.

TCC say they will ensure that there is no tobacco that slips through the borders to Zambia or Mozambique as has been the case years back during the season.

TCC chief Executive Officer Alfred Changaya said his organisation has teamed up with the police to ensure frequent border patrols to combat the vice.

“We will confisticate all tobacco being smuggled and that will remain the property of the government. We will also impound all vehicles involved in the smuggling,” said Changaya.

He said the Limbe Auction Floors open on April 18 and Mzuzu opens its tobacco market on April 20. Tobacco markets rake in billions of money through forex which helps grow the economy.

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13 thoughts on “Malawi President opens tobacco market amid high prospects”

  1. mlomwe says:

    tikuonelani $.80 mlimi angapindule kapena poti simunalimepo eti ?

  2. Alex says:

    We gonna see how the prezident can suport farmers at auction floors this year

  3. lucy says:

    zilibwino kwambili,may heaven father open gates to our farmers,so that we cn hv more forex

  4. masambero says:

    As a Country we dont know what we want to achieve no any direction where we are heading to kumangoziwa kubera ma voti as if u will change things

  5. Zoona says:

    Smuggling is done because of poor prices at our floors and the selling system is poor in malawi.

  6. minister says:

    bola

  7. t c c says:

    zilibwino. Bola ngati inu eni muyambe kuyenda mu zouankhula zanuzo

  8. Yotamu says:

    Since Kamuzu started the ceremonial opening of the Auction Floors , in his capacity as The Minister of Agriculture , his successors have been Aping him , often making the wrong pronouncement just before the sales. There has never been any need for this ! If there was any help that APM could have given, he should have given it before, and not after.
    Making useless rants after the event is hurtful.

  9. All-i-can-say says:

    Do fellow Malawians really appreciate the value of tobacco where it is exported? This crop is worth BILLIONS OF DOLLARS and yet we are happy to net 300 MILLION DOLLARS. Why are we still enriching western countries where governments tax tobacco products heavily to the extent that if tobacco was not grown in places like Malawi, their economies would suffer significantly?

    Fellow Malawians, stop this modern-day slavery and invest in crops which will bring real wealth to our country. Tobacco is not the answer to our economic problems, it is actually one of the causes of our problems. Look at the level of deforestation due to flue and dark fire tobacco? Look at the lost opportunities in land/human resources in the process of supporting tobacco farming over the decades?

    Mutharika and his diaspora friends should know better after living in USA/UK for so long that TOBACCO IS BIG BUSINESS IN THESE COUNTRIES!. These guys should be championing the abolition of this evil crop and not promoting it by showing their noses at auction opening days. The west needs the tobacco and not us!! Naivety among fellow Malawians is astounding and equally baffling!! Wake up fellow Malawians and let us start growing things that can actually benefit the nation in the long run. It’s not too late.

  10. tiyanjane says:

    muzinena mitengo, musabise

  11. santana says:

    The unfortunate thing is that whatever the President will do for the benefit of the ordinary tobacco farmer will be taken as a political ploy to win favours. When late Bingu sided with the poor farmer and threatened the buyers everyone lambasted him. This is a good move Mr President but your political enemies will do anything to discourage you and convince farmers that you are doing this just to win votes. Very unfortunate!

  12. Angozo says:

    Hahahahaha, Koma abale. I see a VP akuyenda kumbuyo kwa Matabwa. Aliyense ndi shasha pa vepi yake. Mwahahahahahahaha. Paja anthuwa amapondana mapazi……uyu akadya mkazi, wina amapitanso momo…akuti mpikisano

  13. Malawias will never be happy again when selling Tobacco as it was with the late Dr Banda.
    Everything nowdays is very disapointing when comes to selling among many Malawias kukamwa kwanoti umaaa

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