Growers to witness tobacco trading— Tobacco Commission
The Tobacco Commission (TC) has encouraged growers to receive the Oxford- AstraZeneca vaccine, remember to put on a mask at all times and keep social distancing when they access tobacco markets to spectate proceedings.
This follows a recent agreement by stakeholders in the industry that farmers may be allowed entry into the markets this season.
Last year, the farmers were barred from entering the markets due to the Covid pandemic.
This is coming at a time tobacco markets are expected to open Tuesday next week, beginning with the Kanengo Auction Floors.
In an interview, TC Chief Executive Officer Joseph Chidanti Malunga confirmed that farmers will be allowed entry into markets but was quick to mention that guidelines from the Ministry of Health will be strictly followed.
“We encourage them (tobacco growers) to get a jab, and put on masks and follow social distancing,” Malunga said.
Meanwhile, tobacco markets operator, AHL Group, has said the number of stakeholders in the floors will be limited.
AHL Group spokesperson Tereza Ndanga said the market operator will be giving access only to farmers selling on a particular day.
“All stakeholders who would want to access the floors will be required to wear a face mask. Our clinical officers will be enforcing the mask requirements from the main gates; they will also be scanning for temperatures,” Ndanga said.
She added that the company plans to pilot the eMsika tobacco marketing system where bids will be done electronically in order to bring about efficiency, transparency and effectiveness in tobacco marketing, as well as competitiveness.
Chief Executive Officer of Tobacco Association of Malawi Trust Nixon Lita said farmers are happy with the arrangement.