JTI eyes 26m trees by 2018
JTI Leaf Malawi has set an ambitious target to raise 26 million trees by 2018 as part of the company’s sustainable reforestation strategy.
JTI Malawi director of corporate affairs and communication, Antonio Vencesla, said on the sidelines of a tree-planting exercise by JTI employees at Kanengo waste management site that of the targeted total, 16 million trees have been planted since 2011 and an additional 6 million would be planted by 2018.
He said in response to recent rainfall patterns in Lilongwe, JTI decided to plant 1,000 trees at the Kanengo site to secure the tree seedlings’ survival.
“The challenge with all re-forestation initiatives is with survival and management of newly-planted tree seedlings,” said Vencesla.
He said reforestation efforts by JTI are an integral part of the company’s long-term strategy to support sustainable production of tobacco by helping contracted growers to plan ahead and secure a sustainable wood supply to strengthen communities and ensure the viability of tobacco farming.
“JTI’s contract growers are the ones taking the lead in planting new trees for use as Live Barns. Live Barns is an initiative launched in Malawi in February 2013 aimed at avoiding deforestation and contributing to social conservation in tobacco growing communities,” Vencesla said.