By Chimwemwe Mangazi:
Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) has expressed optimism China would start buying tobacco from Malawi.
TCC Chief Executive Officer, Kaisi Sadala, said in an interview that China is among countries his organisation has approached to boost competition among buyers on the market.
Sadala said, despite the industry facing frustrations such as the anti -smoking campaign, the industry remains crucial to the local economy, hence the need to reinvigorate it in the short to medium term.
“It is the wish of TCC and government that we bring in more buyers to increase competition because when, we increase competition, the grower will benefit. In the current season, we brought in a new buyer Watergen.
“Recently, we were in China to persuade the Chinese to buy tobacco from Malawi but we will also be undertaking other promotional trips to woo more buyers to come into Malawi so that we have as many buyers as possible,” Sadala said.
He further indicated that the commission is excited at the growing numbers of farmers that are registering to produce the green gold next year, stressing that it is an indication that the crop still has the potential to develop the economy in the medium term.
“I think many more farmers are interested in growing the crop probably because they are also frustrated by the other alternatives such as maize and legumes,” Sadala said.
The 2017/18 tobacco marketing season closed on Friday.