Alliance One, one of the tobacco companies, has embarked on a tree-planting project, which will see over 1 000 hectares of forests planted around the country by the end of the tree planting season.
Speaking at the launch of the exercise in Dowa on Thursday, the company’s leaf production director Ron Ngwira said Alliance One wants to promote sustainable tobacco production through the activity.
“We are planting over two million trees in government plantations and estates owned by Alliance One such the Mpale Estate. This is because we know that wood and timber play a critical role in tobacco production,” said Ngwira.
He said the company will be planting over 1 000 hectares of forest per annum till 2021.
“This is a long term project of an estimated amount of K1.4 billion. Our company aims to be self-sufficient in wood supply from this resource which ensures future viability of Malawi’s tobacco industry,” said Ngwira.
Alliance One is supplying its tobacco farmers involved in the company’s Integrated Production System (IPS) with 400 trees per hectare of tobacco produced.
Ngwira said the company will turn its newly accessed Mpale Estate in Katumuka Village in Dowa into an innovation hub for research, training, and smallholder production units, among others.
Group Village Head (GHV) Katukumuka appreciated the development the company is initiating in the area.