Minister of Labour Vera Kamtukule has commended Tobacco companies for being proactive in promotion of labour and agricultural practices aimed at addressing decent work deficits including child labour and forced labour.
The Minister made the remarks during the donation of two vehicles and Motorcycles respectively by Japan Tobacco International (JTI) Leaf Malawi Limited on Tuesday in Lilongwe.
Speaking with reporters, Kamtukule said child labour and forced labour need to be reduced if Malawi is to continue reaping the fruits of growing tobacco.
She encouraged the companies to continue investing in interventions to accelerate action to achieve decent work in the tobacco growing areas and its value chains.
“We therefore , appreciate the gesture by JTI Leaf Malawi Limited for the gift of vehicles and Motorcycles because they will go a long way to solve some of the mobility problems the officers in the Ministry face in carrying their duties especially in the field offices.
“Through our Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), we are assured of accelerating training of Agronomy officers on labour standards and enhance labour inspections in the grower farm of JTI Leaf Malawi impact districts,” she explained
She then encouraged other stakeholders to emulate the example displayed by JTI Malawi leaf in providing support for effective operation of their offices in labour administration.
On his part, JTI Leaf Malawi Corporate Affairs Corporate Affairs and Communications Director Limbani Kakhome said that the ministry of labour has been supportive in many ways and pledged to continue working with the ministry for the betterment of the industry.
On the issue of child labour, Kakhome explained that they have a history of responding to human rights risks including child labour in their supply chain through their child labour program called “Achieving Reduction of Child Labour in Support of Education (ARISE) to prevent and eliminate child labour in the tobacco-growing communities where JTI directly contracts growers.
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