Universal Leaf for increased investment in Malawi

One of Malawi’s major tobacco buyers Universal Leaf has promised to increase its investment in the southern African nation in order to ensure that farmers get the most out of their produce.

APM and Universal Leaf vice president captured nduring the meeting

APM and Universal Leaf vice president captured nduring the meeting

Mutharika receiving a gift from Universal Leaf boss

Mutharika receiving a gift from Universal Leaf boss

Regional Director for Universal Leaf in Africa Gary Taylor spoke about this when officials of the company met President Peter Mutharika in Washington DC in the United States.

Taylor’s remarks come following the President’s request for tobacco buying companies to increase the level of investment in Malawi by among other things embarking on research so as to identify problem areas.

According to Taylor, the Universal Leaf wants to work with the Malawi government to ensure that the leaf that comes out is of the highest quality.

“We are following with keen interest the strides that have taken place in the economy, which are well-thought and are wisely implemented,” he said.

“These new measures are providing for us a lot more stability and predictability on the tobacco market and also to our customers as they are also able to predict the kind of product to expect from us.

Speaking after President Mutharika requested for an increased quota on the US market, Mr Taylor said that was worth exploring as it helps the country to increase its export base.

“Malawi has all the stars that are favourable on the market, and we call on burley farmers not to relent on the production of the leaf, but improve on the quality so as to attract a bigger market,” he added.

The Universal Leaf Regional Director said the company will also work with Malawi to improve sustainability of the forests that exists adding that currently Malawi has fallen behind in terms of forestry management.

Speaking earlier, President Mutharika, appealed to tobacco buyers to support Malawi tobacco sector, by among other promoting diversification programmes so that tobacco farmers produce with agricultural enterprises, such as maize, soya beans, peanuts, including livestock.

“As a country we want you assistance in the promotion of sound environmental management practices such as reafforestation, water conservation such as dams and borehole construction for irrigation and domestic water use,” he said.

The 2014-2015 tobacco marketing season is currently in progress and the country expects to produce 181,000,000 kg of tobacco, of which 154,000,000 kg is burley, 25,800,000 kg is flue cured and 1,600,000 kg is dark fire cured tobacco.

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5 thoughts on “Universal Leaf for increased investment in Malawi”

  1. tamanda chapotera says:

    zabwino

  2. Kandapako says:

    1. This is what Universal Leaf says all the time. 2. Any increase in their purchases will not benefit the grower but Universal Leaf. 3. Why ask for an increase in the quota the USA buys when Malawi fails to fill its quota? 4. Read Chiwothamisi’s comments at number 3. He/she has said it all.

  3. Chiwothamisi says:

    So APM had to go all the way to Washington DC to meet with Universal Leaf Regional Director? Or he just used the guy as part of the justification for a US trip? Universal Leaf has no Subject Matter Experts in the areas APM is asking. These are tobacco merchants. Ask the right stuff. If you want money for projects to do irrigation and the like just say so.

    Universal will never do anything to advance the economic status of our farmers. All they will do is to pay enough to entice the farmer to come back the following year. These guys make excess profit and have done so for decades on the back of Malawian farmers. They will never give our farmers a fair share unless we change the way we run our tobacco business.

    almost all premium American Blend cigarettes contain Malawi burley. For the established brands, this means they can not make them without Malawi Burley. This should give our farmers enough leverage on what they should get. The buyers will not take it without a fight but the government has to take the bluff and take them on

  4. mwanangu says:

    My friend,even working with universities means working with government.dont u know that luanar is government university?when critising think first.

  5. kumunda says:

    Why working with the Malawi government when we claim to have institutes of higher learning in the country. The government should encourage these big companies to work with universities in the country than monopolizing everything.

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