Malawi Parliament has recommended for a more powerful Tobacco Control Commission to regulate the growth and trading of tobacco and that leaf buyers should stop growing the country’s gold leaf.
Parliamentary Committee chairman on Agriculture Joseph Chidanti Malunga said this in the 193 strong House on Tuesday when he presented a report on Tobacco industry bill.
Debete on the bill has been shelved to another day.
Malunga said the current Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) has less powers on the regulation of tobacco in the country therefore in effective to ensure fair trade of tobacco.
“A powerful TCC would ensure that there is a level playing field in the tobacco industry,” he said.
He said the committee was of the view that tobacco buyers should be stopped from growing tobacco, saying this must be left to Malawians.
Government wants to change the Tobacco Industry law to suit the dynamics of the tobacco industry which include the purchase of the tobacco through contracts which is a new phenomenon in the country.
The parliamentary committees which were looking at the new Tobacco Industry law include that of Agriculture, Legal, Trade and Industry, Natural Resources and Statutory Corporations.
Tobacco players, which include tobacco farmers and growers are welcoming the new comprehensive Tobacco Industry law.
It is not yet known if it will be passed in this meeting of parliament which ends in December, the last in this cohort of members of parliament.