Malawi’s tobacco buying company, JTI Leaf Malawi on Wednesday launched a safe water programme in communities where the company sources its tobacco from.
Launching the programme in Kasungu, JTI Leaf Malawi Managing Director Fries Vanneste said the company would drill up to 98 boreholes in nine districts from the country’s three regions.
He said through the company’s grower support programme, JTI wants to reach out to more than 7,400 growers with access to clean and reliable water.
“We understood from our farmers that access to water remains one of their greatest concerns and the recent devastating drought has only worsened the situation. Many of our growers and their families are suffering real hardship and we felt it was our obligation to help them find solution,” said Vanneste.
Director of Administration Responsible for Water and Irrigation in the Ministry of Agriculture Dokani Ngwira, thanked JTI for the support saying it will go a long way in alleviating water problems in the country.
“The donation will not only benefit JTI growers but also the entire community. On behalf of the government, I am thankful to JTI for helping alleviate water problems in the country. It’s not a secret, water is a problem and to have companies like JTI coming in is a very commendable gesture.
The nine districts benefiting from the water programme include Rumphi, Mzimba, Kasungu, Mchinji, Dowa, Lilongwe, Dedza, Ntcheu and Chiradzulu.
The JTI Grower Support Programme is an integral part of the company’s strategy to build strong and trusting partnerships based on mutual benefits, as well as encouraging sustainable and environmentally responsible farming practices.
JTI also aims to improve access to education and enhance the quality of life within its farming communities.