Chief Executive Officer Chidanti Malunga said that farmers are encouraged to register in large numbers and that the Tobacco Commission’s offices in Limbe, Lilongwe, Kasungu and Mzuzu are open and awaiting the farmers’ registrations. He pointed out that the Commission is worried farmers will be put off registering due to the misinformation that tobacco is dying.
“This message has gone out to our growers and we keep receiving phone calls every day asking us whether they should go ahead to grow tobacco this year or not. So, what we are saying is that those that communicated that message are misguided people, we believe that they don’t know and they have their own agenda,” he said.
According to Malawi24, Malunga urged the media to always balance information before relaying it to the public. President of the Tobacco Media Network Alfred Chauwa and Malunga set up a media training for reporters so they would be more knowledgeable on the subject moving forward.
Tobacco is one of the biggest crops that contribute to the country’s economy with demand for 2021 estimated at 132 million kgs, according to TAMA Farmers TRUST. During the ongoing marketing season, just over 100 million kgs of tobacco have been sold in Malawi so far.