Despite an international lobby against tobacco following health concerns, Malawi wants to be allowed to continue growing the crop.
Through a forum of five countries namely Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe that Malawi is hosting, the country’s Agriculture Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa said they want to discuss their position against anti-smoking campaign in the world.
Nankhumwa explained that the five countries are to lobby other countries not to ban completely the growing of tobacco at the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control conference in Netherlands next year.
“And before that meeting, we need to meet to come up with our position because what we are saying is, we should be allowed to continue growing tobacco” said Nankhumwa.
He further added that Malawi will continue sensitizing its citizens on the dangers of smoking and that those that smoke should do that as a choice.
Malawi’s Agriculture Minister is of the view that banning tobacco growing is to set a precedence of other crops that are considered not to be good for the health to be banned as well.
Despite health hazards that tobacco brings, Malawi has been relying on tobacco as a major forex earner hence banning the crop is to impact negatively the economy of the country.