JTI urges Malawi to continue with tobacco industry reforms
One of Malawi’s leading tobacco companies, JTI Leaf Malawi has reaffirmed its commitment to partner with Malawi Government, growers and other stakeholders in the country’s drive to transform the tobacco industry.
This transformation is geared to strengthen the country’s socio-economic development.
The company’s Managing Director Fries Vanneste was speaking in the capital, Lilongwe on Monday when Malawi’s Minister of Agriculture Allan Chiyembekeza was touring JTI’s offices, newly upgraded processing factory and new state-of-the-art warehousing facilities in Kanengo.
“As a company we realize how important the tobacco industry is to the country. This is why over the years we have supported a number of reforms in the industry. The industry collectively has mapped out a number of policies and regulations that directly affect us in the agriculture sector and which we are working with government to address in order to create a win-win situation for growers, government and buying companies,” said Fries Vanneste.
JTI is currently implementing a Facilitated Farming Scheme which is designed to support the country’s new tobacco marketing system called the Integrated Production System, also known as contract farming.
Under the system tobacco buyers provide growers with farm inputs through loan financing, technical guidance and agree with them in advance quantities of tobacco to produce per year.
This system is seen as a catalyst for improving quality, promoting good agricultural practices, social responsibilities and ensuring long – term viability for farming enterprises.
Speaking during the tour, Agriculture Minister Allan Chiyembekeza thanked JTI for investing in the country.
“The investment the company has made in Malawi is a sign of the confidence that foreign investors such as JTI have in the country’s economy. The Malawi government on its part is committed to the creation of an enabling environment that allows private sector, to flourish,” he said.