Japan Tobacco International (JTl) Leaf Malawi Limited has encouraged its growers to plant more trees to expand and establish live ban base for tobacco farming in order to grow tobacco that is required on the market and as part of sustainable tobacco production.
On Friday, at Chitukula in Lilongwe growers and the company’s staff joined hands in cleaning of the live bans aimed at maintaining them and taking care of trees which was also undertaken by all our growers in all the districts where the company has a footprint.
Speaking with members of the press, JTI leaf Malawi Limited Managing Director John Gauna said that the activity was aimed at conserving their forestry considering that agriculture works together with environment as such as a company they make sure that their growers plant more trees because the initiative goes further than just growing trees but also helps with fertilization.
Gauna added that the live ban project started in 2013 and since that time it has gained momentum over the years whereby farmers themselves have been encouraging each other to plant the trees after realizing the importance of the live bans.
“Our targets are that by 2025 we want our growers, 100 percent of them to grow tobacco in live ban. This year this country experienced dry spells but despite the dry spells, I can proudly say that our growers have managed to come up with a good crop of good quality because of using live bans.
“JTI believes that it is not enough just to plant trees. Trees require management – that is weeding, pruning, straightening, protecting them from animals and of course protecting them from bush fires,” he explained.
Commenting on the issue of live bans, one of the company’s grower Ganizani Fulu said they have helped him to grow good crop which after selling enabled him to make a lot money.
Fulu said that in past he was using other bans which were very costly but with the use of live bans things have changed for better.
According to him, he started growing tobacco with JTI leaf Malawi Limited in 2009 and through the contract he has a house, Maize Mill, Solar power used for irrigation and livestock and among others.
JTI introduced the concept in 2013. Since then the company has planted 7.6 million trees, translating into 39 914 live barns. Out of these, 4, 778 are operational. The company has recorded 84 percent crop survival rate.