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Tobacco Commission hails growers for complying with law

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By Bethsaida Msukwa:

Barely a month after Tobacco Commission (TC) warned farmers against selling tobacco to middlemen and vendors, it has been established that there is compliance.

This comes at a time when the country is enforcing the new Tobacco Industry Act of 2019 which among other things, prohibits selling of tobacco in undesignated places.

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An inspection by TC in some areas indicated that many farmers are still keeping their tobacco waiting for the commencement selling season.

TC Regional Enforcement and Liaison Officer, George Manyera, said the commission is impressed with the compliance by the farmers.

“We are very happy that people are now complying with the new law as no one was found selling and buying of tobacco unlike in the past where measuring scales could be seen everywhere in the area,” Manyera said.

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Manyera, however, expressed worry that some areas are still finding it hard to comply with other sections of the law.

One of tobacco farmers we spoke to in Kasungu, Felix Mziya, said currently no vendeors are not buying tobacco in the area as farmers continue hoarding on ahead of opening of this year selling season.

Tobacco production estimates show that output would go down this year to 154 million kilogrammes (Kgs) from over 165.6 million Kgs traded last year.

This year’s tobacco marketing season will commence on 20, 22, 27 April and 4 May, 2020 at Lilongwe, Chinkhoma, Limbe and Mzuzu selling floors, respectively.

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