Planning and Research Manager for TCC Hellings Nasoni confirmed the development. He said the training aims at entrenching skills how the media can professionally tackle issues arising in tobacco industry.
“Yes, it is true that as an institution we have decided to train the media on how best they can handle and tackle issues relating to the tobacco industry. We anticipate that at the end of the training journalists will be imparted with skills that will enable them (Journalists) report professionally on tobacco matters,” said Nasoni.
Tobacco, Malawi's 'green gold'
On his part President for Media Network on Tobacco (MNT), Alfred Chauwa applauds TCC for organizing the media training this coming Thursday, 21st June. He said the training will remove all grey areas noticed on tobacco coverage.
Chauwa said, “As you are aware Tobacco is a strategic crop to the country’s economy. Agriculture being the country’s economic mainstay requires proper coverage by the media not just mere reporting but reporting factually as any gross errors on the same can have negative impact on the country.”
He further said as Media Network on Tobacco, as an association is impressed with tobacco sales this year. He quotes that week eight since opening of the tobacco floors; the green gold has managed to raise over 122.6 million United States Dollars while comparatively last year within same period the crop only fetched 86 million United States Dollars. Tobacco also contributes almost 60 percent of the country’s foreign exchange earnings.
According to the International Monetary Fund, in 2015 tobacco comprised of 30 to 40 percent of Malawi’s total exports, making up 11 percent of the gross domestic product. This is also an industry which employs over 1.5 million people in its value chain.