Tobacco Association of Malawi (Tama) president Abiel Banda said that strict regulatory measures for tobacco have created strong incentives for illegal tobacco marketing which undermines the initial scope of tobacco control.
In a statement, Banda expressed that regulatory measures should be based on scientific research, to prevent devastating impact on the livelihoods of millions of tobacco growers. The statement reads,“Tama calls for coordination with key players as challenges in the tobacco sector are increasing and growers need guidance to look into the future in a sustainable way, promoting good practices in agriculture, compliant with social and environmental requirements attached to tobacco and other agricultural crops.”
The statement follows a concerning rejection rate that was registered during this year’s tobacco market season. Rejection rates reaching up to 70% were registered on a supply that has a 35% surplus, according to the demand from buyers. Meanwhile, discussions about buying excess tobacco are still ongoing, as revealed by TC corporate planning and development manager Hellings Nasoni. He said that it is guaranteed that excess tobacco, registered at 35%, will be bought by the buyers.