LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Tobacco Commission (TC) has announced the extension of tobacco farmers’ registration and licencing exercise to October 31, 2023.
This comes as the exercise was expected to close on September 30, 2031.
TC Chief Executive Officer Joseph Chidanti Malunga told the Media Network on Tobacco (MNT) interface in the capital Lilongwe on Friday, September 29, that various stakeholders and growers have requested an extension to give them more time to register and licence for the crop.
Tobacco Commission officials led by its Chief Executive Officer Joseph Chidanti Malunga announcing an extension of farmer registration and licencing exercise to October 31, 2023.
“We have decided to extend the exercise by one month giving enough period to them without charging any fee or penalty to them,” he said.
Malunga said the commission wants to produce as much crop as possible because there are many traditional and international buyers who want more volumes of tobacco.
He added that TC expects the extension to enable more farmers to produce tobacco legally as it is illegal for anyone in Malawi to grow the leaf without a license.
Malawi also said that with more farmers getting licenced to grow this year, saying they are assured of great progress towards attaining an annual production of 200 million kilograms by 2028.
MNT Chairperson, Alfred Chauwa, commended TC for engaging journalists on current trends in the tobacco industry.
“We need more of such interface meetings so that there are more stories coming out from the industry,” he said.
Chauwa therefore urged Journalists in the network to accurately report on tobacco issues.
Tobacco is the country’s major forex earner and a strategic crop for Malawi.
However, the industry is dwindling amid global anti-smoking campaigns.