Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) says it is making positive strides in capturing data of all tobacco fields using global positioning system (GPS) project.
The project, which is being piloted in Ntchisi, Lilongwe and Mchinji districts, aims at flushing out intermediaries selling illicit tobacco on the market and control overproduction.
In an interview on Wednesday, TCC chief executive officer Kayisi Sadala said with the GPS, the regulator will be getting coordinates of all tobacco farms and feed them into their system for proper registration, including the size of their farms and the volumes expected to be produced.
He said TCC is using the farm management system which has a component of the GPS in ensuring that production is being aligned to demand to avoid over production.
“With the old system, some growers were registering more than once which led to over production. But with this system that uses fingerprints, we are able to control production,” he said.
Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Joseph Mwanamvekha said in an interview that tobacco buyers are interested in the project because they will be able to trace the leaf from the source.
“This will help the buyers know if the growers are complying with the international protocols Malawi has signed,” he said.
TCC has embarked on a number of reforms in the tobacco industry in view of the worldwide anti-smoking lobby championed by the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO-FCTC). n