Tobacco growers in the country have faulted the existing information gap with the regulator, Tobacco Control Commission (TCC), on lack of engagement.
Recently, at the opening of the Mzuzu Floors some farmers also heaped blame on TCC for failing to effectively communicate to them. For example, the farmers said they were in the dark on the new tobacco transportation system.
With the new system, tobacco is charged per kilogramme per kilometre while in the past, transporters were charging per bale per kilometre, which was on the higher.
In an interview on Thursday, one of the growers from Mchinji, Lazarus Chitedze, said TCC no longer holds meetings with its farmers to update them on new information.
“TCC is more into office work than working with us farmers on the ground. We would like them to meet us on regular basis to update us and appreciate our challenges,” said the grower, who has been in the industry for 20 years.
TCC acting chief executive officer David Luka said the farmers had a point as his organisation has not been engaging them in the past.
“That is noted and true. We take the blame. This issue has been coming out through meetings that we hold with Tama,” said Luka, adding that TCC will start holding meetings with the growers. n