One of the country’s tobacco buying companies, JTI Leaf Malawi, has paid K581, 250,000 to 8,000 tobacco growers under contract farming to cushion them from possible effects of the Covid pandemic.
The money is given back to the growers as collateral release to help them meet their day-to-day needs and production costs.
JTI Leaf Malawi Corporate Affairs and Communications Director Limbani Kakhome told journalists last week that the firm felt duty-bound to help its growers meet production demand to come up with top quality leaf.
“We have a cordial relationship with our growers. As such, we know that, around this time, almost every grower does not have enough money to finance some of the basic necessities at the household and farm level and this is even more compounded now by Covid.
“Apart from growing tobacco, most of these growers also run small businesses and, just as every sector, these small businesses have been affected by this pandemic,” Kakhome said.
He said the firm was ready to purchase produce by the contracted growers once the markets are open.