The Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) has said it will not tolerate all tobacco growers who will not register to grow the crop at the commission after the month of February.
The commission has so far registered 27,000 registration numbers that farmers use when selling tobacco at the auction floors, and on an individual basis 91,900 farmers against a target of 150,000.
TCC Chief Executive Officer, Albert Changaya, has since said they are registering individual farmers to have a good indication of how many farmers are growing the leaf this year.
“The trade requirement for tobacco for next year is 150 million kilogrammes and right now we have issued out close to 88 million kilogrammes. This is an indication that we have about 70 million kilogrammes to issue out to all the farmers if all goes well,” he said.
He further said farmers who will not register will not be accommodated after February.
“Anyone who comes afterwards will not be accommodated and I have to stress this that registration will close in February for we also need time to consolidate the data,” he said.
However, the Tobacco Association of Malawi (Tama) is yet to release a report on how farmers are expected to grow tobacco this year based on a nursery estimate study it has conducted.
Tama spokesperson, Sam Kalimba, said the registration for corporate growers delayed at TCC.
“Tama appreciates the economic hardships that Malawi is facing, but still all corporate growers to respond to TCC’s call positively and as a matter of urgency,” he said