The poor tobacco season for 2015/16 has seen the government, relocating Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Albert Changaya, to the Ministry of Agriculture.
Changaya became TCC’s CEO in November 2015, after replacing Bruce Munthali.
Before joining TCC, Changaya was Executive Director at the Tea Research Foundation.
In an interview, Changaya confirmed receiving a letter moving him to the Ministry of Agriculture headquarters.
“It is true, I have a letter with me that I have been relocated to the Ministry of Agriculture headquarters as Controller of Agricultural Extension and Technical Services,” he said.
The position was previously held by Wilfred Lipita who has since retired.
On his contract with TCC, which was supposed to run for three years, Changaya said his move to the Ministry of Agriculture was based on secondment.
During his tenure as CEO, the tobacco season faced a number of challenges that included low prices at the auction floors and high rejection rates.
During the season, the country’s green gold managed to realise $276.3 million against $337.4 million realised in 2015, representing a drop in earnings of 18 percent.
The volume sold during the season was 195 million kilogrammes against 192 million kilogrammes in 2015.
The 2015/16 season can be described as one of the longest marketing seasons in the history of Malawi’s tobacco.
To date, most farmers are still keeping their tobacco unsold due to the poor season.
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