Implementation of the new Tobacco Industry Act 2019 has reduced the number of tobacco associations from 40 to five, Tobacco Commission (TC) has confirmed.
Section 52 of the Tobacco Industry Act stipulates that an association of tobacco growers shall have a membership of not less than 5 000 and shall be incorporated under the Trustees Incorporation Act or the Cooperative Societies Act.
In an interview on Sunday, TC corporate planning and development manager Hellings Nasoni identified the five associations as National Association of Smallholder Farmers in Malawi (Nasfam), Tama Farmers Trust, Phindu Tobacco Growers Association, Farm Produce and Marketing Association and Mchikumbe Smallholder Farmers Association.
He said the Act is clear on how the commission should licence tobacco growers’ associations in the country.
“Stakeholders and growers are advised to take note and work with these associations for a successful 2020 tobacco marketing season,” said Nasoni.
He said growers whose associations have not qualified will be served by the regulatory body through its divisional offices.
In an interview on Sunday, Phindu Tobacco Growers Association president Abel Kumwenda said he was pleased that his grouping met the requirements of the law. On her part, Nasfam chief executive officer Betty Chinyamunyamu, whose association has a membership of 130 000 growers, said they will fairly represent the growers during this year’s tobacco marketing season.