The Tea Association of Malawi Limited (TAML) says it expects a significant decline in the crop’s yield this year.
Speaking to Malawi News Agency (MANA), TAML Chief Executive Officer, Tonda Chinangwa said the production is expected to decrease from an average of 45 million kilograms to 42 million kilograms per year.
He said this is because of the Tropical Cyclone Freddy which impacted tea cultivation this year due to much water.
He also observed that the industry confronts issues arising from the escalating costs of raw materials for production and the influence of climate change which disrupts the timing of the planting season.
Chinangwa, however, praised association members for providing communities with education, health, and agricultural support.
“We’ve witnessed members constructing schools, hospitals, and offering scholarships to children whose parents work in tea estates,” he said.
In his remarks, Director of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Malawi, Zambia, and Mozambique, Wellington Chibebe, urged tea estate authorities to ensure children remain in schools as opposed to engaging them in child labor.
He also expressed satisfaction on how tea estates addressed child labour and gender-based violence concerns in their workplaces.
“We will persist in supporting and collaborating with authorities to ensure that children’s place is in the classroom,” he said.
Reported by Glory Msowoya