The Tobacco Commission has called upon farmers to register for the upcoming growing season, saying prices of tobacco will be better in the next marketing season.
Chief Executive Officer for TC Chidanti Malunga made the remarks during an interface meeting with media on Saturday.
Speaking with reporters, Malunga said that farmers are encouraged to register in large numbers and their offices are open in Limbe, Lilongwe, Kasungu and Mzuzu.
He noted that the Commission’s fear is that farmers may not come in large numbers to register for the coming season due to 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.
He also said that the Commission is planning to conduct awareness to the farmers as a way of encouraging them to register in large numbers because the Commission will sort out many issues that have been affecting farmers including the issue to do with volume.
Malunga went on to say that misinformation cannot only affect the growers but also other partners who buy tobacco from Malawi because they will be afraid to buy the crop in large quantity as such the country’s economy will be at stake.
He then urged the media to always balance information before presenting it to the public.
President of the Tobacco Media Network Alfred Chauwa asked Malunga to organize a media training for the reporters so that they can be knowledgeable enough and have skills on how they can communicate with the public without facing challenges.
Chauwa noted that Tobacco is one of the crops that contribute to the country’s economy such that media practitioners are supposed to dig deep and have knowledge of every step of the crop before presenting information to the public at large.
According to TAMA Farmers TRUST, tobacco demand for 2021 was 132 million kgs. By 15 July, just over 100 million kgs of tobacco had been sold in Malawi in the ongoing marketing season.