MCTU pledges to support tobacco, tea farmers

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The Malawi Congress of Trade Union (MCTU) has said it will make sure that tobacco and tea farmers are benefiting from their hard work.

The organization said this during a press briefing which was conducted in Lilongwe on Wednesday.

Malawi Tobacco

MCTU to ensure tobacco and tea farmers benefit from their hard work. (File)

In his remarks, MCTU Secretary General Denis Kalekeni said farmers need to be benefiting from their hard work in order to access proper social service including housing and food to support their families and keep their children in schools.

Kalekeni added that poor prices make it hard for farmers to pay off loans and after making losses the farmers are forced to double their labour in the next growing season which pushes them into deep poverty.

“We therefore recommend that government should influence buyers to set good prices for tobacco and tea and to be transparent in making decisions regarding market prices,” Kalekeni said.

He noted that the issue of setting good prices for farmers can as well assist in the reduction of child labour since when farmers increase labour due to losses, they tend to hire children.

On issues of labour, Kalekeni said MCTU has received various reports regarding workers being abused in most sectors of employment.

He said MCTU research has also indicated that workers in the industry receives around K40,000 per month which is equivalent to USD 54.57.

He then called on government to increase the tax free bracket from K30, 000 to K50,000 so that workers are left with some disposable income.

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