MNT in a statement issued Monday refers to the escalating anti smoking lobby across the globe as a basis why the country needs to put much emphasis on other cash crops that can generate substantial forex alongside tobacco.
Chairperson for MNT Alfred Chauwa said in the statement that in pursuant of such diversification efforts, tobacco still remains top forex earner.
“We are cognizant of the fact that tobacco is the main driver of Malawi's economy and the major forex earner.MNT believes that the position taken by TC and other key stakeholders as mandated by the tobacco Industrial act 2019 is the only solution to ensure sustainable economic progress,” said Chauwa in a statement.
The statement urges the media to report widely on the need for diversification.
“The media plays a crucial role in the socio-economic development of any country. There is need for more information to the public regarding the need and importance of diversification as a recipe for socio-economic development,” reads the statement in part.
In an interview with MBC, Hellings Nasoni, corporate planning and development manager for TC, said: “The Act empowers the Commission to promote diversification but alongside tobacco and not away from tobacco.”
Tobacco is the country's green gold
MNT also notes that most farmers in tobacco growing districts are used to grow the crop with a view that they will buy maize after selling it.
“We urge farmers to consult extension officers in their areas for proper guidance as relates to farming in a particular season.”