Tobacco Commission deputy director Levi Phelani has underscored the need for companies and individuals to join government in planting trees in the country.
He made the remarks in Balaka during a tree planting exercise in Sub-Traditional Authority (ST/A) Kapalamula.
Phelani said they are planting trees as a corporate social responsibility to their farming community as tobacco uses a lot of trees.
He said: “We are planting trees nationwide, especially in tobacco growing areas.
“We have so far planted in Kasungu, Lilongwe and Mzimba.
“We urge our farmers to plant more trees, but also to care for them.”
On his part, Balaka district forestry officer James Jambo said Balaka is one of the country’s heavily deforested districts that needed the exercise.
He said: “We plant trees every year, but the problem is survival as communities do not own the trees, thinking they belong to government.
“Another problem is that more trees are being cut than those being planted.”
ST/A Kapalamula assured TC that he will ensure that communities look after the trees.
“We are lucky to have TC in our area for the exercise,” he said.
Balaka District is a rain shadow area. It receives low rainfall. The trees are expected to provide more vegetation cover for rainfall.