Mutharika demands better regulations for tobacco industry

Mutharika demands better regulations for tobacco industry

Tuesday November 08, 2016 AHL Group

On 13th April, 2016 His Excellency the State President of the Republic of Malawi, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika officially opened this year’s tobacco marketing season at Lilongwe Floors by demanding better regulations for tobacco industry so that tobacco farmers who work very hard to produce the crop also benefit from the golden leaf.

Mutharika said there is a great need in this country to regulate the tobacco industry more efficiently because his government thinks seriously about the economy and the welfare of farmers, tobacco investors and the lives of people who depend on the industry.

“The Tobacco Act is outdated and our reviews have already started. Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Agriculture this is your call,” said President Mutharika.

The President also said he was aware about unscrupulous grower associations that were exploiting the tobacco farmers and called them to stop the malpractices immediately.

“They reap where they did not sow. Stop exploiting your own people through your associations. Please scrutinize all tobacco associations and carry out the checks on all of them,” said Mutharika, adding that no tobacco farmer must be deducted money by associations who are not providing any useful service.

In his message to tobacco buyers, President Mutharika demanded fair prices from them so that farmers should also make profit.

“Every year we always agree and yet you always abandon our agreement. This year we told you to suggest the minimum prices yourselves so we need good prices for our tobacco farmers,” he explained.

The State President also observed that tobacco farmers in the country worry about the high prices of farm inputs and low prices they get at auction floors in addition to drought and climate change. He said that as a solution, the tobacco industry in the long run requires three cardinal actions.

“First we must have better regulations for the industry, and second we must provide affordable fertilizer for the farmers, and third we must protect our farmers from climate change,” he explained.

In his speech, The Chairman for AHL Group Mr. Foster Mulumbe thanked His Excellency and the First Lady for officially opening this year’s tobacco marketing season.

“This event is always as important to our company as it is to all the people of Malawi. The start of tobacco sales every year, signals a new ray of hope for the economy of this country.  This is the case because tobacco still remains the biggest foreign exchange earner for Malawi,” he said.

Mr. Mulumbe explained that AHL Group was more than prepared to efficiently handle tobacco sales for this year in all its markets.

“We have done all the infrastructural upgrades to ensure a smooth floor of operations. We are ready to give our noble service to the nation in ensuring that industry taxes are appropriately channeled to Government,” the Chairman said, adding that AHL Group will continue to ensure that the foreign currency from tobacco sales is well accounted for, on behalf of Malawians.  

Mr. Mulumbe finished his speech by announcing that AHL Group prepared a gift of ten brand new computers valued over MK4 million as a contribution towards the Community Technical Colleges Programme which the President is championing.  

In his remarks, President Mutharika thanked AHL Group for donating computers towards the Community College initiative. He said, “Thanks for the gift, as you know community colleges are dear to my heart so any support to the project is welcome.”