The Tobacco Association of Malawi (TAMA) has urged government to set extra security measures in the country’s borders to stop tobacco smuggling.
TAMA president Kalima Banda made the remarks at the 2019 Tobacco Association of Malawi TAMA annual meeting which was also the 90th anniversary of TAMA held at Shape-valley Nanyangu Satellite depot in Ntcheu.
Kalima said curbing tobacco smuggling will ensure that Malawian farmers get rewarded for the hard work.
“Producing tobacco involves a lot of hard work and resources and farmers need to be rewarded hence, tobacco farmers in this country must look after they products with care to meet better prices once this year’s marketing season commence” said Banda.
Kalima advised tobacco farmers not to sell their crop to middlemen saying they should wait for the auction floors where they can sell their crop at better prices.
Tobacco remains the country main forex earner, with tobacco sales raking in 60 percent of the country’s forex earnings.
TAMA was established in 1959 and it has been an important institution to tobacco farmers in Malawi by providing tangible, visible and compelling services to them for 90 years.
In 2017, President Peter Mutharika ordered Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers to guard borders and impound vehicles smuggling maize or tobacco.
Mutharika told the army to guard all strategic exit points from the country and impound any vehicle found smuggling maize, tobacco or any prohibited commodities from Malawi.